Frustration In Jackson As City Searches For Solution to Pick-Up Leaves

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

In just a few weeks, Ralph Otten's yard will be completely covered in leaves. Up until a couple of months ago, he was all set to clean it up using his typical routine of raking them into the street.

But now, that's no longer an option, after a lawsuit forced Jackson to drop its leaf pick-up. A problem for Otten and his neighbors.

"We can't burn them and if we leave them on the grass, then it'll destroy the grass," said Otten.

It's not just yards that will suffer, either. Roger Lyons says wet and frozen leaves can be trouble in his hilly, Essex Heights neighborhood.

"The leaves will be waist deep in the street and they're telling us now, they can't afford to pick them up," said Lyons. "It's a true automotive hazard."

So, what's the solution? The Jackson City Council is voting on one option, next week.

"We will have on the agenda, next Tuesday, five places for five weekends in a row where residents can come and drop off their leaves," said Mayor Martin Griffin.

Having fixed locations will safe more than $200,000, according to the mayor. The city will also continue sweeping streets, although less frequently. However, Otten doesn't think the city's solution will be possible for people like him.

"It would take hundreds of bags to get rid of all these leaves and, of course, it would take multiple trips," he said.

If that's the case, Mayor Griffin suggests hiring a private company or see if a trash hauler can take them.

The five proposed locations to be voted on, next Tuesday, are:

Jackson Public Works - 521 Water Street
Nixon Park, Parking Lot - 200 E. North Street
W. Louis Glick Hwy and Blackstone - City Parking Lot
Frost School, East Parking Lot - 1225 S. Wisner
Parkside Middle School - 2400 Fourth Street

Drop-off dates will be, Saturdays: 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23

The Public Works Facility would also take leaves the following Sundays.

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