By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Village Board discussed the issue of curbside leaf pick up at the Nov. 6 meeting. The issue came before the board after resident Tom Senft spoke on the lack of it during several citizen participation sessions at recent board meetings.

Senft, a longtime proponent on curbside leaf pick up, said he was particularly concerned with the elderly residents in the village who have to rake, bag and then transport their leaves to the disposal area at the wastewater treatment plant.

“A lot of really old people are bagging leaves and taking them over there … it’s a disservice to the community,” he told the board Nov. 6.

Department of Public Works Director Jason Equitz said the village’s street sweeper was not designed for mass leaf pick up and he was concerned with the amount of man hours it would take to do several full-village sweeps for leaf collection each fall.

He estimated it would take two men more than a week to do a single, full sweep of the village.

The village’s street sweeper was purchased in early 2015 and was not purchased with the plan of using it for curbside leaf pick up. In July of 2014, the Village Board asked then DPW director Mike Miller to look into purchasing a new street sweeper after he came to the board requesting to either purchase a used one for about $135,000 or authorize him to research purchasing a new machine at about $250,000.

The board approved the request to look into purchasing a new machine, partly because it would allow curbside pick up. However, in September of 2014, the new street sweeper purchase was axed in a series of 2015 budget cuts.

In January, the board approved the purchase of a used street sweeper for about $40,000 to cover the basic needs of the DPW, but not for curbside leaf pick up.

Equitz said the village’s garbage and recycling vendor, John’s Disposal, makes two bagged, yard waste pick ups each year – once in spring and once in fall. He said one option to the problem would be for the village to contract for more pick ups each year. He said it would cost the village more money, but it was something that could be done.

Another option suggested by Trustee Matt Johnson was to see if the job could be contracted with an outside vendor. Equitz said he wasn’t aware of anyone who did that, but he would also look into it and get back to the board on whether it was possible.

Village Board Student Representative Taylor Grenier suggested civic clubs, such as the East Troy High School Key Club, could also help out with the elderly and disabled by doing yard work and transporting leaves.

For more information on the Key Club, contact advisors Tricia Harris at 262-642-6760, ext. 5200, or Shannon Venegas, at 262-642-6760, ext. 5249.


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