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.