Archived Story

Niles mulls changing brush pickup program

Published 9:13am Friday, April 18, 2014

Changes could be coming to the city’s tree limb and brush pickup program.

Under the current system, residents must contact the city and request that their brush piles be picked up. City crews then do pick-ups twice a month from March through October.

City Administrator Ric Huff proposed a new system during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that would limit pick-ups to twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall — and anytime there is heavy storm damage. Residents would not have to request a pickup as city crews would pick up all piles as long as the piles are compliant with city code.

Huff said the new system would save the city about $35,000 a year, while making more efficient use of city manpower and helping with code enforcement.

Huff said the current pickup program has gotten out of control because residents have been known to cut down entire trees or bushes and expect the city to pick them up.

“There’s only so much that we can do,” he said. “Then the brush stays there for months on end, or people don’t notify us they need pickup.”

Niles Fire Chief Larry Lamb, who also does code enforcement, said the new system would make it easier to determine which residents are playing by the rules.

“If we pick it all up in the spring, then now anything that’s out there after that we can go write it up and don’t have to worry about it,” he said. “It makes it easier from a code enforcement standpoint.”

Councilman Scott Clark suggested that the city look into a different system where crews would pick up piles once a month.

No action was taken, but the Mayor asked the city administrator to research each option.

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