Friday, November 4, 2011
This morning's meeting, with the agenda headline "Tree Calamity," was requested by member Nonny Burack who wants the committee to "make noise," as she has had what she described as "otherwise thoughtful people" disclose their plan to clear cut all the trees from their property. Yikes!
The brutal storm affected thousands of trees, hundreds came down, hundreds more will still have to come down because of significant damage received. But if the damaged tree is in the public way (even if near a private home) homeowners cannot trim or drop the tree without permission of tree warden Alan Snow. And based on how often his cell phone chimed or vibrated during the course of the one-hour meeting, he may not be all that available over the next few days.
Snow told the committee that as of this morning 3,000 cubic yards of debris had been picked up off the public roads by town crews and will be turned into biomass, mulch, or animal bedding. The town has a contract with Wagner Wood to haul it away.
I asked if the 75% FEMA reimbursement for cleaning up municipal debris would be jeopardized if private material made its way into the waste stream, and it appears that the Feds would not reimburse for private debris but would still cover the municipal waste. In other words, it is not an all-or-nothing deal.
The town could schedule alternating odd/even days to distinguish between municipal and private debris, making accounting easier.
Presumably Wagner Wood, since they are home based in Amherst, is giving the town a decent disposal rate, so why not leverage that to benefit private homeowners burdened by the unprecedented fallout?