A good place to start

Friday marks the beginning of a two-day volunteer effort to clean up the entrances into Minot as part of the city’s Project CLEAN.

It’s a needed effort, to be sure, as the long winter has definitely left the usual scatterings of trash around the city’s ditches, fence lines and streets. The Community Leaders Enhancing Area Neighborhoods is a worthy project. Volunteers can pitch in anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Anyone interested in taking part can contact the Chamber of Commerce at 852-6000.

The annual volunteer effort this weekend will focus on sprucing up the entrances to the city, but there is obviously much more work to be done within the city that cannot be fixed by volunteers with trash bags.

No, the real issues with Minot’s appearance will take time and hard work to solve. We fully understand that construction projects and there are plenty of projects large and small right now in town by their nature contribute to muddy and rough streets in construction areas, as well as generate some trash that crews generally work hard to contain within the work sites. Those projects will work themselves out, simply because at some point the projects, such as the two parking ramps going up in downtown Minot, will be finished.

A?larger problem remains, though, and it’s a by-product of the 2011 Souris River flood. A ride through Minot’s river valley will tell you all you need to know. Many streets are still in rough shape, and the river itself remains an eyesore in some locations. Most flooded residents have dedicated themselves to repairing and reconstructing their homes, and they should be recognized for their hard work. Yet there remain far too many so-called zombie homes, most of which have been all but abandoned and sit in various states of disrepair.

We applaud those who take part in this week’s Project CLEAN undertaking to make a positive difference in the appearance of our city. Their efforts are appreciated and will be noticeable. We hope the city government soon follows suit.