Storms are reeking havoc on trees in the city and McMinnville Public Works Department employees are feeling the effects. The amount of brush picked up has tripled since the onslaught began.
“Just when we almost get close to getting caught up from the last storm, we get hit again,” said Public Works assistant director Brad Hennessee. “We are almost back on schedule, so I’m expecting another storm to move through.”
Each time a storm moves through, brush from fallen trees and limbs is placed beside the street by city residents for pickup by Public Works. Extra crews have to work in an effort to get the department back on its regular schedule, which is picking up brush on the same day as garbage.
To get a good idea of the increased amount of brush being picked up, Hennessee pulled city records.
“We averaged about 100 tons of brush a month before all the storms,” he said. “In the last three months, we are averaging about 300 tons a month. We’ve tripled the amount we normally pick up.”
Hennessee says most residents have been very understanding when they call to inquire why their brush has not been picked up with the trash and are told about the situation. However, not all calls end with acceptance.
“I can understand their irritation,” Hennessee said. “They are used to the brush and trash being picked up at the same time. We are behind, but we are working to get caught up.”
McMinnville Mayor Norman Rone encourages patience.
“We are not neglecting our residents,” Rone said. “We’re still offering this service and we will catch up.”
To report brush that has not been picked up on schedule, call McMinnville Public Works at 473-1219.