Meeting Minutes, 

Mini Stories & More

Present: J. Kilgo, J. Bailey, C. Poole, M. Moyer, G. Moyer, T. Hardin, D. Cason, K. Tegen, D. Bradley, B. Harrison, JoAnn Maxey, C. Guffey, S. Rzonca, C. Francis, S. Webber, D. Barrick, J. Chapman, Chelsea Rush

Not Present: B. Teague, B. Yelton, K. Powell, S. Weeks

Others Present: E. Ostertag

 Litter Pick-up committee update was given by Dana Bradley

o Next p/u of year to be held in October 10-13

o Next meeting on July 10 th at the Spindale House

o C. Guffey reported that 1,215 bags at 9.11 tons was collected

 Marketing Committee update was given by Jenna Bailey

o Tax letter insert going out includes info on the River sweep, fall sweep, and Trash Bowl


o Mini stories about the litter pick up are supposed to go in the paper every 2-3 weeks

o Website to created soon

 Administrative Committee meeting update was presented by Don Cason

o Budget for 2019-2020 been approved

o New Executive Committee has been formed. Members are Jenna Bailey and Dana


o County wide litter policies are to be developed between the towns

o Discussion on the potential cost of 5,000/yr to keep up a 501C3. Possibly grants could

fund it yearly. It was recommended to possibly find an existing 501 (possibly ROC) to

have manage the account for us.

o There will be a mini meeting with the Exec. Committee and Town Mgrs. to discuss a 501


o Sheriff discussed his approval of the litter cam.

o Cost of cameras: 2,000/camera. The discussion was that 6 would be ideal

o K. Tegen gave an update on the Adopt/Sponsor-A-Highway letters were sent out-over


 Action Items:

o Sheriff Francis will be setting a meeting with Don, the County DA and County Commissioners

 Next meeting date determined: August 15th at 2:00 pm at the Woodrow Jones Bldg.

Community Room

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Town Employee Stephanie Rzonca holding Hubcap
Stephanie Rzonca found many interesting treasures during the sweep, including a hubcap.

Rutherford County, NC – July 2, 2019: Stephanie Rzonca usually finds herself serving the

community as Community Development Director for the Town of Rutherfordton, a Farmers

Market volunteer, and as the Executive Director for the Main Street Program in downtown

Rutherfordton. Rzonca is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Development, making her committed to serving both the current and future

generations of the county. She has been involved with organizations established to support local families and communities from a young age, and her passion for helping others and the local environment has moved with her from Fayetteville, NC to her new home in Rutherford County, NC.

“Improving the quality of life for citizens and making a difference in my community, whatever

form that may take, is important” Rzonca said. “There is an innate sense of doing whatever I can to make the community better within me.”

Rzonca was one of the 650+ volunteers that participated in Keep RC Beautiful’s Spring Litter

Sweep during the month of April. She has only been in Rutherfordton for a year, so having an organization to support gave her a way to get involved with a team and become more familiar with the area.

“I had an avenue to support the local area with Keep Rutherford County Beautiful,” Rzonca said.

As an employee for the town, Rzonca already had a passion for keeping the local area clean. Her co-workers helped fuel the desire to work alongside Keep Rutherford County Beautiful under the team name ‘Minty Fresh.’ Her team consisted of Town Manager Doug Barrick, Town Clerk Mara Short, Finance Director Sonya Outling, and police officers Clint Ingle and Joey Holland.

“Working for the municipality means that we all care about the town,” Rzonca said. “As a staff, we care about the community and it really matters to us.”

The group cleaned areas along Cleghorn Street, Court Street, Elm Street, and Collett Street in Rutherfordton. The group contributed to the overall total of 7 tons of trash collected in the


Getting involved with Keep Rutherford County Beautiful prompted Rzonca to look for litter on

her own time, and she plans to participate in more clean-ups in the future.

“I plan to be more directly involved with the group to encourage others to get personally and

professionally involved in keeping the area clean,” Rzonca said. “Now I pick up trash on my

routine walks because I started to take notice of the litter around me.”

Going forward, Rzonca hopes that events like the Spring Litter Sweep prompt more involvement from residents. The large turn-out for the sweep makes Rzonca hopeful for the future, and she wants everyone to stop thinking of themselves as bystanders to litter.

“It is beneficial for everyone to see themselves as a participant in the community,” Rzonca said. “No man is an island; everything that we do has a direct impact on others.”

If you found this story inspiring, join the movement for a cleaner, more beautiful Rutherford

County. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower our citizens to take action every day to improve and beautify their community. Find us on Facebook @KeepRCNCBeautiful, or email us at

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Steve Gilbert Trash Pick-Up Veteran
Trash pick-up veteran Steve Gilbert gathers litter along the roadside.

Rutherford County, NC – June 4, 2019: Steve Gilbert, a native of Rutherford County, lifetime resident, and retired business owner is no stranger to the litter scene. For years, Gilbert has been going on his own to keep Rutherford County clean, and participating in an organized clean-up for the first time proved to be just as satisfying.

“There is such a deep-down, good feeling of picking up trash,” Gilbert said. “Afterwards you get to go home, wash your hands, and feel good about what you did.”

For the month of April, Rutherford County citizens teamed up to clean up roadways, parking lots, trails, and parks across the county during the Spring County-Wide Litter Sweep. Gilbert gathered litter along Oak Street near Gilbert Windshield in Spindale and in Ellenboro along Booger Holler Road. He worked with the Town of Spindale litter sweep team, led by town manager Scott Webber.

“Webber contacted me to be a part of his group,” Gilbert said. “We both work to promote bicycling and keeping the Thermal Belt Rail Trail clean.”

Gilbert believes that it is important to clean wherever you go. Picking up litter in areas shows your own pride for the community, and cleaning up the trash left by others sets a precedence for those that come into the area in the future.

“It is your job to be a steward to keep the area clean and help people,” Gilbert said. “You should try to make the place you live better than how you found it.”

Over time, Gilbert hopes that this event prompts more involvement and education for the county. Children learn from watching those around them, and making sure that the next generation takes pride in the environment is crucial to Gilbert. Without educating today’s youth, society cannot expect the Earth to become healthier.

“The education of the next generation is important,” Gilbert said. “You aren’t going to change the mindset of those throwing it out now without teaching the next generation. That’s where the change will come."

Gilbert has a personal commitment to doing what is right for people and taking care of business, especially when it comes to litter. He plans to continue to pick up litter on his own and be more involved in the events organized by Keep Rutherford County Beautiful.

“I got a lot out of the event,” Gilbert said. “I am sure that the 650+ people involved got a lot out of it too.”

If you found this story inspiring, join the movement for a cleaner, more beautiful Rutherford County. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower our citizens to take action every day to improve and beautify their community. Find us on Facebook @KeepRCNCBeautiful, or email us at

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