City Residents Want Help Cleaning Up Storm Debris
By Dave Franzman, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The storm that rumbled through eastern Iowa this weekend left a leafy mess in at least a few isolated areas. And homeowners in one southwest Cedar Rapids neighborhood are upset city officials won’t offer more help in cleaning up the debris left behind.
Monday, the city sent out a news release saying the weather event last Saturday was so isolated, the city would not declare a “tree emergency.” That means residents who lost lots of limbs and have other storm debris can’t expect any special removal assistance. The city is urging residents with damaged trees to use their “YARDY” carts to dispose of organic material including tree branches during the regular weekly pickup.
But residents in the Lincolnway Village neighborhood near Kirkwood Community College say using the regular yard waste pickup would mean months of work getting rid of debris a tiny bit at a time.
One Lincolnway Village neighbor, Larry Fenton, said practically every yard in the area has broken trees and piles of limbs curbside waiting for removal. He said if city solid waste or forestry crews brought the proper equipment, everything would go a lot smoother.
“We’re just waiting to see what the city would offer us. I don’t know if they could bring a chipper out or come out, clean up and then bill us. They haven’t offered anything,” Fenton said.
Neighbors point out in other severe weather events, with more widespread tree damage, city crews have been part of the cleanup solution for brush and debris.
Residents reject the idea that since the damage is isolated, those hit hard by Mother Nature don’t need any extra help.
Another resident, Larry Hajek, said “they’ve done it in the past—drive through here and look at the stuff that’s smashed and the trees down. That’s a lot of brush for somebody to haul out (by themselves).”
The city news release points out residents can tie broken limbs into two by three foot bundles and put out as much as they want curbside. But neighbors said that would take a lot of tedious work and they’d much prefer city crews come out with the right heavy equipment and help them clean up the entire neighborhood at once.
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