Fridley's tornado-related wood-removal program is underway and will continue through Tuesday, May 31.
The Fridley City Council approved the program Monday night. At midday Tuesday, the city's Department of Public Safety announced details about the weeklong program.
City crews are beginning to pick up curbside piles of brush, branches and logs that are no longer than six feet. The city government asked residents and property owners with trailers or other means of transporting wood waste to bring it to the Columbia Arena parking lot, 7011 University Ave NE, from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (daily except Sunday).
Director of Public Works Jim Kosluchar told the city council Monday that he expected crews to visit the most heavily damaged sections of the city first. Crews will visit each area only once and will not make return trips for later pickups.
Mayor Scott Lund said residents who remembered a program along the same lines after a similar 2005 storm. He said in an interview Monday that storm resulted in the equivalent of two 12-foot piles of wood, each the size of a football field, at the Columbia Arena lot.
A difference from six years ago, Lund said: the city has fewer employees to shift to temporary wood-disposal duty, and a fewer funds to cover the expense. The program in 2005 cost the city more than $400,00, he said.
Kosluchar estimated at the council meeting that Sunday's tornado had created only 20 to 25 percent as much wood waste as the 2005 storm. He said the program this year would consume the equivalent of more than $100,000 in city resources, including staff time, although out-of-pocket expenses would be less than $10,000.
Here is the text of the city's official announcement of the program:
CITY OF FRIDLEY
5/22/11 TORNADO CLEANUP
The city is concentrating its efforts clearing hazards and streets at the moment. At this point in time, access to all streets has been restored. Streets are open, with the exception of 57th Place between 7th Avenue and University Avenue. This street will require a number of days to reopen, as power poles must be reinstalled. The street is open to access from either end to local residents.
The City has established a drop-off site for brush, branches and trees for residents affected by the tornado at Columbia Arena (7011 University Ave NE). Only tree waste is being accepted at this site, no building debris will be accepted. The site is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday (the site will not be open on Memorial Day, 5/23/11). Bring identification or authorization from an affected property when delivering tree waste to the site.
The City has initiated cleanup of boulevards as of Tuesday 5/24/11. Public Works crews will collect tree waste, branches, and brush from the boulevards in affected areas. If you have tree waste to be collected, please cut in 6’ lengths, and stack neatly on your boulevard near the curb. To ensure collection, have tree waste and brush ready for collection no later than Tuesday, May 31. To maximize the efficiency of boulevard clearing, crews will collect tree waste as they move through storm-damaged areas, there are no scheduled collection times or locations. Crews will not return for additional collection once through an area. The City will not have the resources available to plant damaged boulevards, so residents are responsible to restore boulevards with topsoil and planting.
Note that this collection program is meant to assist those with uninsured losses with limited ability to dispose of tree waste. If losses are insured, residents should have their licensed tree contractor remove and dispose of trees, branches, and brush. If residents have the ability to deliver materials to the drop-off site, it will assist the City in expediting cleanup operations.
Please report downed power lines to Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-1999. Xcel Energy is also your contact for when power will be restored to your residence.
The City of Fridley licenses all tree contractors, please view the city’s website for an up-to-date listing of licensed contractors http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/licensed-tree-services. We will be updating the website on a regular basis.
Please remember the burning of trash, leaves, or brush, is not permitted. See the fire department’s link on recreational fires http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/are-recreational-fires-allowed-in-fridley.
Door-to-door solicitors for any type of service work or sales are required to have a solicitors permit. For a listing of current licensed solicitors please visit http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/licensed-solicitors.
Please contact your homeowners and/or vehicle insurance company for details on damage sustained to homes, autos, trees, etc.
Please visit http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/ for any future updates.