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Storm Debris Pickup Delayed by Few Days

Officials say they are still performing storm debris pickup for the entire town but the work is slow going.

Town and contractor crews performing storm debris pickup are running a few days behind schedule but officials still urge residents to put out their storm debris as soon as possible in order to facilitate the process.

"You have to hold them to a series of dates," Public Works Director Fred Hurley said of the public and crews working on the initiative. "You can't let these things drag on."

According to the , all roads designated in Area I – or the gold section of the map issued by officials – were to have had their storm debris picked up by Wednesday but due to the overwhelming amount of work, crews are running a few days behind schedule.

Officials said most of the pickups in the gold section should be completed by the end of today or at end of Saturday at the latest, Hurley said. Sometime between Friday and Saturday, those crews expect to transition to performing pickups of storm debris in Area II or the dark green section of the map, he said.

Once crews have finished with their pickups on one street, they will not return for any households that may have been late in putting out their debris, Hurley said. Those households will be responsible for bringing their own debris to the town transfer station.

Residents also are reminded that the pickups only are for debris resulting from the October snow storm – such as fallen tree branches. All other yard waste will not be collected and will be left behind.

"Ninety-eight percent of the people have done it the right way," Hurley said.

Town officials knew the storm debris pickup schedule would be aggressive and the potential to come in late existed but they still wanted to set a goal by which to meet, Hurley said.

Weather permitting, he said he still expected crews to come within a week of the targeted end date, which was to have been Dec. 2. So far, the weather has cooperated in that temperatures have stayed relatively warm, although the rain has slowed some of the pickup work, Hurley said.

Crews – which number between 60 and 70 workers spread across town highway and parks and recreation personnel as well as outside contractors – are expected to work through to about Wednesday before taking the long Thanksgiving weekend off to give workers some respite, Hurley said.

The work will resume early Mon., Nov. 28, he said.

More than 75-percent of the cost associated with the storm debris pickup is eligible for reimbursement from the federal government as part of the major .

Town officials have said emergency protective and cleanup costs associated with the October storm appear to be three times the cost of Tropical Storm Irene, though the final tally will be done once the storm debris pickups are completed.

John Munro November 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM
In my opinion it isn't so funny that our First Selectman has jumped on the criticize CLP bandwagon (sounding more like all her Democrat peers). As illustrated by the laughable debris collection schedule, words don't pick up sticks any better than they fix wires. Politicians, especially those espousing conservative positions, should shy away from populist rhetoric, when the very same criticisms could be leveled against them.
Brad Tefft December 09, 2011 at 02:51 PM
The debris from the major snow storm that was supposed to be picked up by the town, still remains on our street. Crews started one evening this week at the entrance but then stopped and moved on. They have not been back since that night to complete picking up the remaining debris in front of the rest of the homes on the street, including ours. I submitted a "Request Services of Public Works" on their web site as well (http://www.newtown-ct.gov/Public_Documents/NewtownCT_DPW/services). I don't mean to sound critical and I do not know their priorities, but on the surface it appears to be not well organized. Hopefully they will be back in the next day or two.
Hoa Nguyen December 09, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Hi Brad, I'll give a call in but the first selectman said on Wednesday that the final quadrant of the town was being worked on and that plans were to finish by end of Saturday. I'll check into it today and see what the update is. Let me know if you don't mind saying what street you are on specifically. Thanks
Hoa Nguyen December 09, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Brad, just checked in with Public Works director Fred Hurley and he said that crews should be 90-percent done by end of day Saturday but that some residual work will have to be done Monday and Tuesday. So the final end date will be Tuesday. Hope that helps.
Brad Tefft December 09, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Hi Hoa! As I write this they are outside using a shredder now, picking up my piles. Unlike the big CLAW they had been using previously. Thanks for your response and the follow-through! Thanks to Fred as well.
Sam Mihailoff December 09, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Calm down people...how can you equate the lengthy power, telephone and cable outage with brush, tree limb pick-up. Did Pat Llodra call in crews from California? The town has so many men, so many chippers and it will get done...OK, Pat Llodra; don your hard hat and gloves and do something would you please?.....lol
Swami December 09, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Job well done, thanks to all from President Obama and FEMA to Ms LLodra and her wonderful phone messages.
yoda December 09, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Keep in mind, the man power is town is low due to all the money goes to the BOE.

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