The Chatham Borough Council agreed to consider a second brush pick-up through borough streets, but only after leaf pick-up finished and if the Department of Public Works was not overwhelmed with snow removal.
Chatham Borough Administrator Robert Falzarano said the DPW had already completed one round of brush pick-up after Tropical Storm Sandy hit the area. Now, he said, the DPW is focused on leaf pick-up.
"We went through and picked up the brush," Falzarano said, "and we left notice that we'd been through and we wouldn't be back."
After residents saw the notices, Falzarano said he received many phone calls and visits from borough residents, some quite "nasty," who said the residents were unaware of brush pick-up in their neighborhood.
DPW Director Robert Venezia also received phone calls and even visits in person from residents who have used profanity in expressing their disappointment, Falzarano said.
Borough Mayor Bruce A. Harris and other members of the council said they, too, had been contacted by residents, and throughout the borough, even after one brush pick-up, streets are still lined with tree limbs and logs.
"We can do a second brush pick-up, but there has to be a final date," Falzarano said. "And we have to be clear, this is brush collection, not tree collection."
No logs, no tree roots or trunks, and no limbs more than 4 inches in diameter will be collected. Even as the DPW proceeds with leaf collection, which is on through Dec. 16, Falzarano said they will vacuum leaves out from under brush and any brush over 4 inches will be left on the street.
Council President James Lonergan said this second collection was similar to the second collection done in 2011 after the October snow storm. "Do we really want to open that door again? We've cleaned it up once," he said.
Harris said there was a high demand for the second collection. "We've gotten a number of irate calls from people who missed the brush collection," he said.
The council will consider the second collection when they meet on Dec. 10.
Falzarano also said the borough has applied for recovery funding from Tropical Storm Sandy through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but as of right now, "We do not have a date" for when the funding may be approved.
In the meantime, the mulch area is open daily through Dec. 8.