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2020 ended with the launch of a really exciting new initiative to bring added focus and attention to the needs in DeLand’s Spring Hill community. It’s called Strive to Thrive, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the weeks and months to come.

As many of you already know, Spring Hill straddles the DeLand city line, with parts within the city’s jurisdiction, and parts outside of the city limits in unincorporated Volusia County, within county government’s jurisdiction. 

Because of the dual jurisdiction, any initiative will require good communication and coordination between the city and county and between government and residents in order to be successful. This is absolutely essential.

Strive to Thrive kicked off Dec. 12 with two free community cleanup events. 

The first was a collection event at the Chisholm Community Center hosted by the County of Volusia, where residents were able to drop off tires, electronics and hazardous household materials such as old paint, solvents, batteries, pool chemicals, pesticides, fluorescent light bulbs, gasoline and motor oil. 

The other was a bulk-item pickup jointly sponsored by the county and city, to help residents find a quick and easy way to discard large items such as furniture and mattresses.

Both programs were well-received by the community, with 512 tires and 192 pounds of paint, among other items, dropped off, and more than 8,000 pounds of bulk items collected for disposal. 

The disposal of unwanted tires was particularly important, because tires are not only an eyesore, but also can become mosquito-breeding grounds when they collect water.

While the cleanup was a good place to start, those two events were just the beginning. We’re already in the process of planning more programs for the Spring Hill community. And that’s where you come in.

Soon, the county will be launching a survey for Spring Hill residents to hear your opinions of county services and help us better understand your needs. The survey will be completely anonymous, and the information will be extremely helpful in identifying needs and planning future events to better serve the community.

There’s a real sense of momentum in Spring Hill, and many community partners are getting involved in Strive to Thrive to lend their support and resources.

As your District 1 representative on the Volusia County Council, I’m committed to bringing new and creative opportunities and a fresh approach to helping the Spring Hill community and, in fact, all of Volusia County, thrive.

I hope you’ll join us in this effort and make your voices heard. Communication and collaboration truly are the keys to success!

— Girtman is a member of the Volusia County Council, representing West Volusia District 1.

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