Despite Cedar Rapids Storm Cleanup Efforts, Some People Still Upset
By Addison Speck, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Debris cleanup across Cedar Rapids is causing some excitement and frustration. On Tuesday, the city of Cedar Rapids started picking up this last weekend’s storm debris in two hard hit neighborhoods.
However the day before, the city told residents the mess wasn't considered a tree disaster and they would only pick up debris placed in Yardies. But after seeing the piles of branches throughout the Lincoln Way and Czech Village neighborhoods, the city decided they would pick up all debris left on the curb.
"We pay these people and then we see the city and it's just like, did we just get scammed," said Kristin Pilkenton of Cedar Rapids. Pilkenton and Derek Kohl last heard the city was only picking up debris that fit in their Yardy.
So when independent tree businesses came around and offered to clean up the mess for a charge, they jumped at an offer and weren't alone. "It was like a chain reaction everyone was like well I want to get a part of this, I want it out of my yard," said Pilkenton.
But just hours later, the sound of grabbing and grinding passed back through the neighborhood. This time it was the city, cleaning up curbs, for free. "If we knew that the city was going to do it, we would have let them come and do it. But we got told they weren't going to come do it, so we just paid for it," said Kohl.
The city manager reviewed the area and decided two areas needed the help. Until Thursday the city will be cleaning up storm damaged neighborhoods one pile at a time.
While some neighbors told us the change in decision was just what they wanted to hear. Others said the change was a day late, leaving them several dollars short.
"In many of those cases those people would have had to have assistance to move the debris, which a major portion of the effort is just to have it moved out here. So for that we regret anything and thank for your patience as we complete what we are doing," said Craig Hanson, Public Works Maintenance Manager.
If you don't live in those two areas, but have debris you should call Solid Waste and Recycling Division. People are still encouraged to break limbs and branches down into 3 foot lengths and place them in their Yardy. This will help the Solid Waste and Recycling Division reach more people faster.
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