The shovel is mightier than the checkbook

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Edna

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My house is on a corner lot. In addition to my own space, I also am somewhat responsible for two parkways that are 15x80 feet approx. The parkway on my west side was paved 40 years ago as a parking lot for the church across the street. Shortly after paving it, the church had an internal breakdown, a new church was spawned, and they no longer needed the lot. SO. In 40 years, it has been partially dug up for sewer problems, for the neighbor's water access, and has also been scraped at the street edge by the snow plow. It has grown weeds in wet weather and has collected trash in all seasons.

When I bought the place I determined that in time I would have dominion over the west parkway. This is the year.

I called a concrete contractor in May and he told me he could pour a sidewalk in June. A few weeks later he came over and put some little flags in there but he never brought me a contract. I won't call him anymore unless I just have a sudden urge to get lied to:) I called a landscape company when I gave up on the first guy. They told me it would be later on towards fall when they could get to it, but they'd come over and look at the job. Still waiting, haven't seen them yet.

I decided just to do it myself. Digging up pavement is hard work. In some places the pavement is under 6-12 inches of dirt. The dirt is full of plastic and glass shards and other junk. Yuck!
This picture shows my progress as of a couple of days ago. As of yesterday, I have finished the strip along the retaining wall and have worked the first 25 feet or so on the far end to the street.

When the digging and cleaning are done, I plan a low retaining wall to handle the elevation change from the planting area to the sidewalk area. I want to plant chokecherry bushes and some junipers - hopefully things I won't have to protect from the deer.

238.jpg
 

Jacqui

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What does the sign on the fence say? How much time have you invested so far?
 

Edna

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The sign on the fence is from Draves Contracting, the guy who put the fence up last year. Our agreement regarding the signs is fulfilled and I can take the signs down now.
Time??? About 30 hours. I've also invested a sunhat, a pair of basic sneakers, a pair of work gloves, and a few Tylenols.
 

Yvonne G

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I too live on a corner. My south side is a very busy street with traffic that is allowed to drive 55mph. People drive by and toss their trash out of the car. I don't like the look of all that trash and weeds in front of my house, so I've taken it upon myself to pick it up every day and spray Round-up three or four times a year. Since this is a "hwy" more or less, it is not my responsibility to keep it clean, but its my house and I have to look at it, so I take care of it.

In your case, since it isn't your property, I would clean it up, level the dirt and just make sure it stays clean and weed free. You know darned good and well that as soon as you start planting something out there the county or whoever is in charge of it is going to do something that makes it a waste of money for you.
 

wellington

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It amazes me with the economy the way it is. Wouldn't you think businesses would do cartwheels to get your business. No body does any. It's like pulling teeth to get someone to get back with you about something. I have learned, if I can do it myself, I will. The quality of workmanship out there sucks, if you can get them to even show up. Good luck on your project. It will probably look nicer then anything someone else could have done, and you will enjoy it more, knowing you did it.:D
 

ALDABRAMAN

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WOW, Hard work makes you stronger and live longer! Nice job!
 

Edna

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wellington said:
It amazes me with the economy the way it is. Wouldn't you think businesses would do cartwheels to get your business. No body does any. It's like pulling teeth to get someone to get back with you about something. I have learned, if I can do it myself, I will. The quality of workmanship out there sucks, if you can get them to even show up. Good luck on your project. It will probably look nicer then anything someone else could have done, and you will enjoy it more, knowing you did it.:D

I think my inability to hire the work done is a reflection on how GOOD the economy is here in Rawlins. Apparently plenty of people and businesses are hiring the contractors to do really big expensive jobs. I have an even bigger job (removal of 75 feet of sidewalk) I want done next summer, and hope to get contacts for that work taken care of this fall.

emysemys said:
In your case, since it isn't your property, I would clean it up, level the dirt and just make sure it stays clean and weed free. You know darned good and well that as soon as you start planting something out there the county or whoever is in charge of it is going to do something that makes it a waste of money for you.

I've decided to think of it as a risk, not a waste. The cilty seldom rips up the streets or into the parkways. Most parkways here have huge, mature trees or other mature landscaping. Many people create extra parking by covering the parkway with concrete, much more expensive than what I have planned. Even if the city rips up my work in a couple of years, when they're done they'll pour a new gutter/curb and sidewalk, so a net gain for me.

I would hate having traffic going by that fast and especially all the trash. Maybe you could talk a 4-H club into adopting the strip? My trash mostly blows in. After a brief windstorm one evening last week, I picked up about 3 guys worth of Taco Bell trash. Ick!
 

Jacqui

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Edna said:
After a brief windstorm one evening last week, I picked up about 3 guys worth of Taco Bell trash. Ick!

You know as I fondly release my trash into the freedom of the roadside, I often wonder where it will end up. Now I know... and Edna, I really DID eat all that by myself. :p :D



You know, in many places if you start taking care of property next to yours and basically move your property line over, if the owner allows you to do that, then after so many years it can legally become yours.

Wish you were closer, like only a hundred miles away, then I would loan you my son, while we went to that one restaurant you talked about once. :D Josh loves to do manual stuff like that.
 

Edna

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Jacqui said:
Edna said:
After a brief windstorm one evening last week, I picked up about 3 guys worth of Taco Bell trash. Ick!

You know as I fondly release my trash into the freedom of the roadside, I often wonder where it will end up. Now I know... and Edna, I really DID eat all that by myself. :p :D

LMAO

Jacqui said:


You know, in many places if you start taking care of property next to yours and basically move your property line over, if the owner allows you to do that, then after so many years it can legally become yours.






Those encroachment laws only apply to private property, not to the domain of the city.
 

Jacqui

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Edna said:
Those encroachment laws only apply to private property, not to the domain of the city.

I figured that would be the case. :( ... and thanks, I could not think of the term encroachment.
 

Edna

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Jacqui said:
Wish you were closer, like only a hundred miles away, then I would loan you my son, while we went to that one restaurant you talked about once. :D Josh loves to do manual stuff like that.

I appreciate the thought. I don't mind manual labor, but I did have plans to work in other areas this summer. Other projects are being neglected.
I'm kind of learning something here. Being a teacher on a teacher's salary, I have to save all year for the next year's projects. Now I understand that if work is to be done by contractors I need to make those arrangements well in advance, get on their schedule for next year.
 

Jacqui

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Does seem that way, but atleast your getting it figured out.

I have one project here that keeps getting put off year after year (I think about 15 years now). That long back my oldest son started digging a hole for a pond for me in the front/side yard. He is not much for manual labor and took to heart the story by Mark Twain, convincing his younger brother and his friend how much fun it was to dig. They ended up doing 95% of the work. So I have this nice hole in my yard, but have never gotten around to getting it made into a proper pond.
 

ascott

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Jacqui....I am laughing so hard here....I have a matching hole along side the house towards the front yard too.....lol...only difference is that it was suppose to be the entrance to a secret underground tunnel my son was going to dig that would go from our house then directly under the neighbors house on out to the main dirt road....lol...which is about 400-500 feet....

However, you have given me a pond location idea for the growing RESs....that is if he gives me the aok to take the hole someday....it has been there for six years....and he is now 12 and when ever I bring it up to him to possibly refill it...he suddenly has this look of horror on his face and says he plans on finishing it still....lol

Edna...I am with you on planting...I would much rather chance a planting or two and have something beautiful to look at....and Yvonne I feel your trash rage....our neighbor simply let's his trash can blow over and all of his trash ends up on our property and if the wind is howling strong enough...his property looks really clean while ours looks like a landfill because of all his crap....I have gone out two times in all of the years we live here and found him picking up trash for like five minutes....swell.
 

Jacqui

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I have always dis liked trash being allowed to fly out of vehicles or fall out of trash cans. With having the tortoises I even more so dislike it. Just worried something will blow in unseen by me, but not by a ever hungry tortoise or turtle and get eaten causing a blockage and/or death. Bad enough the wind carries it, but we have these dang birds which line their nests with tons of little plastic pieces, which end up falling inside the tortoise enclosures from the trees above. :(

I agree with both you and Edna, Angela I would worry about today and let the worry about what may happen in the future, be worried about then. If they do want it back, plants can always be transplanted or you can write them off and have just thought of them as expensive annuals.
 
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