Thumbs up to the City of Lynchburg’s dedicated sanitation workers who have had a couple of weeks from you-know-where but still have managed to keep their focus on the public they serve.

The previous week had been one of the hottest of the summer thus far, yet the refuse of the city’s thousands of residents and businesses must still be collected. Then, this week, mechanical problems plagued the workers as they made their appointed rounds. Thursday refuse pickups especially were affected, with some pickups happening well into the evening and others the next day.

That evening, city employee Brian Daniel May felt he needed to alert his customers and explain why their refuse wasn’t picked up that day. He took to a popular Facebook group, Living in Lynchburg, and posted the following message:

“If you live in the area of Link Rd between Old Forest Rd and Crane hill, Gregory Ln, Ridgecroft Dr, Roundhill Rd, Ravenwood Dr, Cardinal Pl, Interlink Rd, Circle Rd, Westhaven Pl, Westbrook Cir, Oak Hill Ave and Acorn St.

“The trash will be collected tomorrow, Friday July 26th. My truck broke down and I was unable to finish my route today. My apologies.”

His simple note struck a chord, garnering hundreds of Facebook “Likes” and “Loves,” in addition to dozens of comments thanking him and his colleagues for the job they do, day in and day out.

Responding to one of the dozens of people thanking him, May replied, “I take pride in what I do. It may just be trash collection, but we can make a difference.” To which we — along with thousands of other Lynchburgers — reply, “There’s no ‘just’ about it. It’s an extremely important job. And we thank you.”

In these days of so much negativity and so much divisiveness, both online and in “real” life, this man’s dedication to his customers and to his job stands out and gives us more than a little bit of hope for the future.

So to May and all his dedicated co-workers, thank you.

* * *

Thumbs up to everyone involved with the completion of Phase III of the Fifth Street revitalization project on budget and only a couple of weeks behind schedule.

Fifth Street, one of the main thoroughfares in the city, had been closed for more than a year and a half as city engineers and construction crews undertook water and sewer updates and built out the streetscaping and landscaping for the historic neighborhood.

The months the road was closed were hardship to residents, businesses and commuters, but it was all in the name of constructing the Lynchburg of the 21st century as some of the oldest infrastructure was replaced and modernized.

Only a little bit of work remains, but Fifth Street’s now open to traffic. When you have a chance, drive through the neighborhood and relish Lynchburg’s history and its great future.

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