Originally posted at 2:30 p.m. Updated at 5:05 p.m. Updated again on April 2.
FRAMINGHAM – Almost three weeks after a nor’easter knocked out power to almost one-third of Framingham, and left neighborhoods littered with tree limbs and branches, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer is proposing a city-wide, special brush collection.
Her supplemental appropriations request will be heard by the Framingham City Council finance subcommittee on Wednesday night and go before the full 11-member Framingham City Council for a vote to approve next Tuesday, April 3. It was submitted after the last City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 20.
UPDATE: City appropriation votes require two readings by the Framingham City Council. so the first vote will be on April 3 and the second vote to authorize on April 17.
City Councilors said the supplemental budget request is about $300,000 for the special brush curb-side collection.
Currently the City’s yard-waste drop off area on Dudley Road is fully occupied by the storm debris collected in immediate aftermath of these events, said Framingham Department of Public Works Director Peter Sellers in a March 19 memo to the Mayor and the CFO.
“This debris had posed a threat to public safety either due to its location on the road, on electrical wires, on Public Parks, on School properties, or on sidewalks. This debris (estimated at 20,000 Cubic Yards) is in the process of being processed and removed at a cost of $58,600 before any additional material can be taken in and processed at the facility,” wrote Sellers.
“Many of the residents have been left with substantial amounts of brush, branches, and limbs on their properties that need to be disposed of. A special curbside collection has been offered in the past to assist residents under similar circumstances. We have received several inquiries as to whether or not the City will be offering this service once again,” wrote Sellers to the Mayor.
“I am proposing for your consideration that the City combine a special curbside collection with the annual spring curbside brush collection, which had been planned for May. The combined collection would take place beginning April 23 which will allow time for final snowmelt and for residents to gather materials for collection. Based on our observations of existing damage, as well as our experience with past special collections, we estimate that as much as $283,117 may be needed in
order to carry out this large scale undertaking,” wrote Sellers in his March 19 memo.
Residents will be required to bring all storm debris to the edge of the Right of Way, taking care not to obstruct sidewalks or vehicular traffic. Material will not have to be tied, but should be piled neatly, wrote Sellers.
“It may be anticipated that Public Works crews will work 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week for approximately 4 weeks. Cost estimates include only the overtime portion of this time commitment and include support staff such as a Fleet Technician to keep equipment running on schedule,” wrote Sellers to the Mayor and the CFO.
“The largest variable in the cost estimate and is the unknown extent to which residents will participate and therefore how much material they will actually place out for collection. This would impact not only the collection costs but more so processing and disposal of the material. I would expect that our estimate is on the high end but the final cost could fluctuate depending upon the level of participation,” wrote the DPW Director. ” The Department of Public Works has the staffing, equipment, and contracted services required to initiate this large scale effort. We do not however have sufficient funding in the operating budget to
undertake this project.”
Framingham Department of Public Works already has an annual brush collection scheduled for the week of May 7-11 in its calendar.
UPDATE: It is anticipated that the scheduled brush collection on May 7 would be eliminated with this storm brush collection on April 23, which is expected to last 3-5 weeks.
Petroni Media Company photo post the storm at Walsh Middle School