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Abuse of free services prompt changes to Sapulpa's Citywide Cleanup event

Posted at 9:48 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 10:48:11-04

SAPULPA, Okla. — As we kick off the first week of Spring, the city of Sapula wants to help you get a fresh start. But this spring's Citywide Cleanup day is looking to be different this time around.

The biannual cleanup event is still free, but you'll need to take a trip to city hall if you want to participate. The Citywide Cleanup is a very popular event for the city and it draws neighbors from all over the city to the dumpsite for a day of free trash and debris disposal.

However, the city is requiring you to apply for a voucher to prove your residency. Unlike in the past, neighbors were only required to bring a water-bill proving that they live in Sapulpa.

So, between now and April 24th, you'll need to make a stop at city hall with your ID to get your voucher ahead of time. Vouchers will not be given out at the cleanup facility. The event is still free, but some neighbors are annoyed by the new changes.

“I understand it might be a little inconvenient. But to me those people like that service, so they need to help the city keep that service,” utility billing director Mike Hoehner siad.

The event kicks-off April 24 at 8 a.m. Neighboring cities have held similar dump-days like this in the past, but most have cancelled them over the years because it ends up costing the city too much money. Sapulpa is among the few still doing it.

The free dump day is a service only for people who live in Sapulpa, but city officials tell Two Works For You they believe people outside the city, who don't pay sapulpa taxes, were also taking advantage.

That’s why they’re cracking down by requiring residents to come to city hall with their ID’s to prove their residency. City officials also believe this year’s event will be especially big because their fall event was much smaller due to the pandemic and people have more to throw out.

Even though it may be an inconvenience, people with the city say it has to happen for the event to survive.

“Some of the surrounding cities used to have something similar but they have stopped. And by the time they’ve stopped, ours have grown. It’s free to the customers but not to the city,” Hoehner said.

In the past, the event has cost the city upwards of $25,000. You can find out more on the event by CLICKING HERE.

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