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The City Journals

Green Committee moves annual Fix-it Clinic to Taylorsville Library with modest success

Nov 27, 2019 12:50PM ● By Carl Fauver

Green Committee Chairman Matt Thomas and committee members Mark Wendel and City Councilman Ernest Burgess (L-R) work to repair a chainsaw during their third annual Fix-it Clinic. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected] 

While working to secure his re-election to the Taylorsville City Council District 1 seat in mid-October, Councilman Ernest Burgess hopped off the campaign trail long enough to assist the city’s Green Committee with its third annual Fix-it Clinic.

Unfortunately for him, not many potential voters saw Burgess donating time at the Taylorsville Library, though he did win reelection, decisively, nonetheless.

“We definitely need to get more publicity for this event,” he said. “I know fix-it clinics have worked in other cities, across the country and in Utah. So, we aren’t going to give up on it.”

After holding its first two fix-it clinics at Taylorsville City Hall, this year, Green Committee members moved it to the Salt Lake County Library Taylorsville Branch (4870 South 2700 West).

“We’ve fixed a good variety of things the past couple of years and thought we might get even more foot traffic by moving to the library,” said Green Committee Chairman Matt Thomas. “One year, we helped a lady with her chainsaw. She was so happy, she ran home and brought back two more chainsaws. Our volunteers have also fixed video game control ‘guns,’ sewing machines, a food dehydrator and a lamp.”

Additionally, because this year’s clinic was slow, volunteers also worked on one of the library’s book carts, making it roll more smoothly.

“The only thing our volunteers tried to fix but could not was a space heater,” Thomas said. “We worked on that at city hall. But when we plugged it in, it tripped the power breakers. After it did that twice, we decided not to work on it anymore.”

Luckily, during his time on the city council, Burgess has learned where the circuit breaker is in city hall and was able to restore power to the council chambers.

In addition to Thomas and Burgess, other members of the Green Committee assisting at the fix-it clinic were Marsha Mauchley and Mark Wendel.

“We are a throw-away nation,” Mauchley said. “I wish more people would bring things. It could be a cost savings to come here (to the clinic).”

Of the four committee members at the fix-it clinic, Wendel was the most recent to join, two years ago. He became involved specifically to assist with the first clinic.

“I just like working with my hands,” he said. “My dad was a real fix-it guy, and I used to work with him. He was a refrigeration and maintenance guy. I used to help him with lots of different projects.”

While awareness of the Green Committee Fix-it Clinic is still not where members want it to be, another of the committee’s annual events is among the most popular activities in Taylorsville each year.

“The Citywide Cleanup is our major event of the year, and we begin planning that months ahead of time,” Burgess said. “Our cleanup is held on the Saturday closest to Earth Day (April 22). We have to begin planning it in January in order to line up all of the vendors and volunteers.”

The annual cleanup provides an opportunity for Taylorsville residents to drop of toxic waste, outdated pills and medications, electronics and private papers requiring shredding.

“Next spring will be our fifth annual Citywide Cleanup,” Burgess said. “Last year, our vendors hauled away two or three vans full of electronics like computers and TVs. We also had three-quarters of a van filled with shredded paper. It’s a big success and keeps growing every year.”

With planning for next year’s Citywide Cleanup set to begin after the holidays, Thomas says his group could use additional volunteer members.

“We have six active committee members now and can always use a few more,” he said.

If the Taylorsville Green Committee grows, the group also hopes to further develop presentations it now has prepared for elementary school assemblies.

“We have done a few presentations to individual classes,” Burgess said. “But, with more people, we could expand that into a program for an entire school assembly. We teach the kids about resource conservation and recycling.”

The Taylorsville City Green Committee meets at city hall on the third Friday of each month at 5:30 p.m.