Piles of leaves filled with tree branches, heavy vegetation, grass clippings and other debris are slowing down municipal workers charged with cleaning up the foliage.
“They have to take time to pick all that stuff out,” village administrator Kevin Gladden said. “If that stuff gets in the machine, it’s not going to take too much to wreck the fan or some other part. It’s a leaf pickup machine … that’s it. It’s just ridiculous. One of these piles had a bunch of logs and tree limbs at the bottom. Someone took down a small tree and left it there for us to clean up.”
Because of the seriousness of the situation, village crews have been told not to clean up leaves when the obvious extra debris abounds, Gladden said.
The machine used for the annual fall cleanup costs $18,000.
“And once it breaks, that’s probably it for the year,” Gladden explained.
Fall leaf pick-up is a yearly service provided by the village for its residents.
Property owners are asked to rake leaves to the curb. Crews guide the machine along the street, vacuuming up leaves via a large hose.
The cleanup is hampered by another item residents can also remedy. The leaves are supposed to be raked to the curb. A number of residents, however, pile the leaves across the entire boulevard of their property, which also causes workers problems because of the hose’s ability to reach.
“You take all the effort to rake and you’re two feet short,” Gladden said.