Contractors Begin Debris Removal

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The contractor, Poor Boy Tree Service, will make two sweeps through the city. Different types of equipment are needed for different situations. Three of the cleanup crews are local subcontractors.

For example, a crew working with small sized limbs and leaves employed a front end loader and dump truck in the southwest area of Meridian, but only a few blocks away in the northwest section, bigger and heavier limbs required a cherry picker to pick up the pile and haul it away.

Because of this process, residents may see a cleanup truck drive by their pile without stopping to pick it up while the neighbor's debris is removed, but city officials and crew supervisor Brian Wollbrink say it will all be removed before the job is done.

"We're getting the big stuff on our first pass through," Wollbrink said. "We'll go to the second pass in a week or so to give everybody time to get the last remaining stuff out of their yard and onto the right of way, so what little we're leaving behind, don't worry. We will pick it up."

But officials say they are concerned some residents may think cleanup crews will go on their private property and cut and remove trees and heavy limbs for them. That is not true.

"It's got to be within ten feet of the right-of-way boundary so that we can pick it up. It's not our responsibility, but as long as they can get it to the curb we can get it picked up," said Wollbrink.

Wollbrink has 45 days to complete the job, but says it could be finished in 30. All four quadrants of the city are being cleaned simultaneously.