Parts of Cedar Rapids Will Get Extra Help in Removing Storm-Damaged Trees

By Dave Franzman, KCRG-TV9

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- Cedar Rapids residents hit hard by Monday night’s storm will now get some extra help in cleaning up debris. The city of Cedar Rapids will remove tree debris from both public and private property in a few, selected areas.

The tree-removal assistance doesn’t apply citywide. Through June 27th, city crews will pick up all limbs, branches and even cut up tree trunks placed curbside from the following areas:

20th to 24th Street NW from Burch to Johnson Ave. NW.

6th to 14th St. SW from 16th Ave to Wilson Ave SW.

The subdivision south of Wilson Ave SW that includes Illinois and Wisconsin Ave. SW.

The city will cut down damaged trees and remove the debris from public right of way areas everywhere. But the cleanup assistance offer means homeowners can also count on the city to remove trees damaged on private property. Homeowners will still need to cut up the branches and even tree trunks slated for disposal. But anything placed curbside through the 27th will be hauled away by city crews and equipment.

Residents in those hard-hit areas were grateful at the news of the “haul-away” help. Brad Hauser said he knows how much it costs to remove a single large tree from a property because he paid for that service just a few years ago.

“I lost one here about four years ago and it was $500 for them to remove it and get it off the property.

Keith Stairs said he already spent some money to haul away part of the storm tree debris on his property. But he was also glad to hear city crews will help with the rest if he can drag it curbside.

Stairs said he doesn’t regret spending the money the day after the storm because he just couldn’t wait.

“We needed it cleaned up. We couldn’t get the mailman to the mailbox or the paperboy to the door because we had a tree right in front. So we needed to get it cleaned up as soon as possible,” Stairs said.

The city’s offer of tree removal help doesn’t apply everywhere the high winds damaged trees. Megan Murphy, a Cedar Rapids Utilities spokesperson, said city workers made a list of the worst-hit areas that could use extra assistance. But there’s a limit due to cost.

“It does add up so we want a balance between how much the city is paying to help residents clean up and where we need to cut it off,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the city may adjust the boundaries of areas that will get the extra clean up assistance through the 27th. Some neighborhoods might be added and that decision could come by Friday.

Cedar Rapids residents outside the special cleanup areas can dispose of tree debris through the regular yard waste pick up system. That requires placing cut up branches inside the YARDY carts or making bundles no more than 2ft. by 3ft. in size and weighing less than 40 pounds each.

l Comments: (319) 368-8611; dave.franzman@sourcemedia.net

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