Fredonia works to beat back brush

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino Fredonia Streets Department Superintendent Perry Mitchell said his department has been overwhelmed by the amount of brush following the March 1 storm.

The March 1 storm left residents with more than just snow to shovel — it also left broken branches to pickup.

Now that some time has passed, Fredonia residents have been putting their brush on the curb and the village is attempting to deal with it.

At Monday’s village board meeting, Streets Department Superintendent Perry Mitchell said his department has been “overwhelmed.”

“We’re so overwhelmed by all the brush, just take a ride by our shop and you’ll see that’s just from surface cleanup. We’re going to need to get a tub grinder. It’s unbelievable what we’ve had coming in. We’ve had whole trees that have to come down that the tree service is working on taking down now because they’re hazards to the public. Once the snow starts to melt and people start pulling stuff up from the back yard, we’re buried. Without that tub grinder, we’re going to have a giant mess,” he said.Mayor Athanasia Landis gave her support for the request, calling it “reasonable.”

Mitchell said he reached out to three companies for quotes on a rental, one had gone out of business, but the lowest came in as St. George Enterprises.

Village Administrator Richard St. George said there is no money in the budget for the expense, so the board will have to appropriate money for it.

Board members asked if there was any state assistance for the storm. Perry said none has been announced, but he has been recording expenses just in case money is made available.

Trustee Roger Britz asked how many more man hours Perry estimates will be needed to deal with the storm aftermath. Perry said they just began the second round for pickup and trimming hanging limbs, but it will be another two or three weeks worth of work if there is a thaw. He said the tree service is out trimming limbs too high for the department to reach.

Trustee Jim Lynden asked if residents need to have brush cut up. Perry said no because this is from a storm, but residents can drag brush to the curb for ongoing pickup efforts.

Perry added he expects there will be a lot of wood chips after all is said and done. Police Chief Brad Meyers suggested seeing if St. George Enterprises would work that into the deal for the grinder.

The village board plans to pass a resolution to rent the tub grinder during a special meeting called for the budget on Monday, March 19. The workshop will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the meeting to immediately follow, both will be held in village hall.