Crossett’s Public Works director says that the new leaf and limb pickup schedule has allowed the city to implement new programs.
The city just finished its second month using the new lawn, leaf and junk pickup procedures as voted in by the city council earlier this year. The schedule allowed Public Works Director Jeff Harrison to create a litter program and a sign maintenance program.
“Before, they were just driving around looking for limbs to pickup, now there is a schedule and pick up days and it frees up time,” Harrison said.
The city is mapped out by zones and the city employee over the sign maintenance program spends one day a week focusing on one area and taking care of any street sign maintenance that he sees is needed. Harrison said sign maintenance could be anything from painting over a vandalized sign to weed-eating around the sign to make the sign more visible.
The litter program works the same way. There is now a time dedicated to pickup trash around the city. Harrison said the litter pickup is typically done on Friday and Monday and the crews start at all of the entrances to the town.
Harrison said that though he is implementing new programs, the city does not currently have an active bucket truck.
“We’ve been getting calls about limbs being cut in alleys and left there, and that’s not us, people need to contact their electric company,” he said. “If you see someone cutting limbs in a bucket truck, it’s not the city.”
Harrison said that other than the confusion from residents, the new pickup system is going well and he hopes that he will be able to add to the new programs once things are running more smoothly.
Some of the confusion Harrison has dealt with over the last week stemmed from door hangers that were put out by the city workers earlier this month.
Harrison said that when people didn’t seem to understand the new procedure, the city decided handing out fliers at every residence would be helpful. Although the information was made available on social media, the city’s webpage, and in local print and radio outlets, residents were still not aware of the new pickup procedures.
“We couldn’t put them in the mailbox, that’s illegal,” Harrison said.
Instead, they decided to staple the fliers to the door hangers that were made to notify residents of non pickup.
Harrison said the door hangers, even though left blank and only used for a vehicle to attach the flier, confused people at first, but he has been working to put out confusion.
Additionally, residents didn’t understand the flier. The flier included information for leaf pickup — which won’t start until October — limb pick up, junk pickup and burning inside the city limits.
“I had at least nine phone calls the day we put the fliers out about burning, but it doesn’t say that you can’t burn,” Harrison said. “Nothing changed since it went out in the newspaper, it’s the same information just on a flier.”
Harrison said that as people start to understand the program, the call volume for limb pick up has increased.
When the program first started, Harrison said the city was only picking up about 20 loads a week, but last week the number increased to 60 total loads of limbs.
Residents who wish to have their limbs pickup need to call 870-364-2187 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Limbs are picked up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and are scheduled at the time of call.
“If you call before 2 p.m. on Monday, your leaves will be picked up Tuesday; otherwise we will get them on Thursday,” Harrison said.
Limbs can not be more than four feet in length and six inches in diameter.
Leaves will only be picked up from Oct. 1 until March 31, and will also be scheduled as residents call in.
Junk is picked up on Wednesdays for a fee of $15 to $75 and must be scheduled by 2 p.m. on the Tuesday before.
Typically junk will only be $15, but if it requires an eight-yard truck, a $50 fee will be imposed as will a $75 fee for the 12-foot truck.
“This is really 10 times better than the old way and it’s more productive and it prevents the guys from driving around in a circle,” Harrison said.
Burning is only allowed in backyards and must be contained to a fire pit or burn ring no larger than 36 -inches in diameter. There can be no open burning of leaves or limbs and no burning in the alleys.
For more information on the new leaf, limb and junk pick up ordinance, contact the city at 870-364-2187.