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Oxford invested in its residents

Driving along North Lamar Boulevard last week I noticed leaves piled high at the curb, and the last time I witnessed that sort of sight was when I was living in Milwaukee and Chicago suburbs growing up.

I remembered with fondness how my family would rake up the leaves into big piles in the yard, everyone jump around and play for a little bit and then the leaves get raked the rest of the way to the street for the city’s vacuum equipment to come suck up the pesky leaves.

I have not had that luxury while living in Tupelo, and having close to 20 trees either on my property or right on the property line, fall turns into a large, expensive mess.

The first couple years I raked and paid friends’ children to help me rake and bag. That only inflamed my sinuses and caused a trip to the doctor’s office. The next couple years I attempted to mow with a mulching mower until it got out of hand and then paid a professional. So that both inflamed my sinuses, caused a trip to the doctor and cost a lot of money for the lawn guy.

Because, you all may know this, there are some folks who will take serious advantage of you and charge a lot to remove leaves when you don’t know better.

The past two years I have networked and found two super reasonable guys to take care of the leaves the whole falling season, and I’m happy to report no trips to the doctor for sinusitis yet this year.

The fact the city of Oxford has two vacuum trucks to pick up leaves for residents is something progressive, smart and is such a tremendous asset for residents. No co-pays from inhaling excessive amounts of leaf dust. No having to spend hours cleaning them up. No breaking your back bending over to bag them. No breathing in smells from people burning them.

And those wonderful Master Gardeners who want leaves for flower beds, compost piles or any other project, can just walk along the sidewalk and bag some leaves without trespassing on property or bugging anyone. Sidewalks throughout the city is another investment and could be a whole column to itself.

The city should be commended for making the initial purchase of those machines, because so many cities won’t make that investment in their residents. So thank you, Oxford leaders, for providing this wonderful quality of life enhancement to residents.

Stephanie Rebman is editor of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at stephanie.rebman@oxfordeagle.com.