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'Nasty' Residents Frustrated With Sandy Cleanup

Chatham Borough considers second brush pick-up.

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.

Hugs November 30, 2012 at 04:38 PM
DPW has generally always performed well and our streets are usually in great order after storms and winter snowfalls. Much more cleaner than surrounding towns. As others have already clearly stated, people had ample time to clean up their yards or hire landscapers. DPW made it clear TWICE last year and then again this year that they’d be around only once. They are specific as to what they will pick up for good reason. They are not responsible for your fallen trees in your backyard so they should not have the burden of picking up 50-75 pine tree logs from your fallen evergreen in your backyard. That’s your responsibility to get rid of and not DPW’s! Sure, they have the equipment and manpower, but why is it their job or why should I incur the cost (thru raised taxes) to clean up your tree? That’s why you see large logs still piled at the curb. DPW knows if it’s theirs or yours and will leave it alone if it wasn’t a town tree. Hello! That’s your job to dispose of my friend. Be thankful they offer to pick up the brush and you handle the rest. Now, because this is Chatham and we all know who some of these people are, you will see them outside this weekend cutting down any shrubs or trimming any bushes and hauling that to the curb to take advantage of the 2nd round pickup. Seen that happen year after year. Any guess how many year old xmas trees will appear at the curb?!
Julles51 December 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Hey andrew-you obviously don't live in chatham - work your a** off to pay high taxes here to pay for these services. If u did you'd be singing a different tune.
Just Doit December 02, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Lets not get it twisted...the DPW gets paid to do a job so they are not some kind of Red Cross volunteers here to help us poor Chatham home owners. I think they do a fine job so no beef there. That being said I see no reason why our leadership can't be flexible enough to reprioritize efforts during times of extordinary circumstances and pick up the friggin branches and tree trunks. I don't see how this incurs one iota of extra cost since we have the Resouces already and they would just be working on something different. At the end of the day those services do exist and those people do get paid to serve the tax payers best interest. It's a shame that our elected officials are so narrow minded and our neighbors are so confrontational with each other that often the right things don't get done. Peace.
TwpRez December 06, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Oh gee, I guess leaves don't get picked up in the twp because we don't pay that little thing called taxes... thanks so much for clarifying : P
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