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Ogdensburg looks to save time on brush removal

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The city of Ogdensburg is looking to ways to reduce the amount of time spent by Department of Public Works employees on brush removal.

“Last year, 3,184 man hours were spent cleaning up brush,” DPW Supervisor Gregg E. Harland said at Monday’s City Council meeting. “It’s a lot of man hours.”

But a solution to the problem is hard to come by, City Manager John M. Pinkerton said.

“This is a tough nut,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we do it right.”

Mr. Pinkerton said city staff is brainstorming to find a suitable plan that would both save time spent on brush removal and not allow a large amount of debris to accumulate on street curbs.

One of the proposals has been to split the city into four sections with a revolving collection schedule. Another option floated, Mr. Pinkerton said, is moving to a bi-weekly pickup schedule.

Mr. Pinkerton said he didn’t expect that there will be any major changes made to the policy this year, however, as staff attempt to avoid any rash decisions.

Deputy Mayor Michael D. Morley said he doesn’t think the city should be doing rounds cleaning up small piles of grass clippings on a daily basis, but also doesn’t want to see the streets overflowing with brush.

Mayor William D. Nelson said previous attempts by the city to fix the problem ended up making matters worse.

Mr. Nelson said an attempt several years ago to only collect brush bi-weekly made the city look terrible.

“Obviously I think we’ve got to get a change,” he said, but he cautioned against moving too quickly.

Mr. Pinkerton and Mr. Harland reminded the council and residents that during summer months people can bring their own grass clippings and brush to the city’s landfill any day during the week.

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