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Scotch Plains in Final Stages of Debris Cleanup, Moving on to Leaf Pickup

On Dec. 4 the Scotch Plains Council discussed debris and leaf pick up as well as a possible increase in the township's emergency appropriation funding.


During the Manager’s Report at the Dec. 4 Scotch Plains Conference Meeting, it was proposed that the council increase the emergency appropriation funding from $500,000 to $800,000 to cover the additional costs involved in Superstorm Sandy cleanup.

At the Nov. 20 council meeting, the amount of $500,000 was approved for cleanup and removal of debris left behind by Sandy, but at last night’s meeting Councilman Mickey Marcus felt the $300,000 increase was sprung on the public and council without any warning.

According to Township Manager Henry Underhill, the additional $300,000 specifies leftover tree trunks that are the township’s responsibility. He added that the reason he hoped the increase would be voted on that evening is in order to have all the costs in by the end of the year so that it does not take away from the 2013 budget.

Additionally, according to both Underhill and Mayor-Elect Kevin Glover, the township is hopeful that 75 percent of the costs will be reimbursed to the town by FEMA.

Mayor Mary DePaola noted that during the initial survey of the damage done to the township from Hurricane Sandy, they estimated the cost to be nearly $1 million. She added that she was not completely surprised now that the amount has increased to be closer to the original estimate.

Since Marcus felt strongly about having little time from hearing the information to having to vote on it, the council decided to table the vote until the Dec. 18 meeting.

Also on the note of cleanup, Underhill said that so far the town has cleared 21,000 cubic yards of debris from the roads.  As the township finishes up debris pickup they will then move to leaf pickup.

Underhill stated that any road that already has had debris picked up would not see another pickup. Within the last 12 days he said that crews have noticed that streets which have already been cleared have been filled again with new debris.

“At some point we have to draw the line,” Underhill said. “And maybe they will have to hold on to it until spring cleanup.”

A list of streets that have not been completed is available on township's website. If your street is not listed, that means it will not be revisited. 

Lenapee Tree December 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Please post a link to the Scotch Plains website that has current informatiom.
Nicole Bitette (Editor) December 05, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Hi Lenapee Tree, Yes, I will post it as soon as they post it on the site, I haven't seen it up yet.
Debbie Greh December 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Farley Ave hasn't seen any kind of pick-up, debris or leaf.
MaryAnn December 06, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Mary Ellen Lane has not seen any kind of pick-up either. Barely can get cars down the street. One artilce in the Scotch Plains Times said they were 75% done, how can that be when the whole South Side hasn't even been toouched.
Nicole Bitette (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Hi Debbie, I'm still waiting on that list on the website for what streets they have completed for debris. Leaf pick up has not started for any streets yet as they are still finishing with debris.
Lisa Terranella December 06, 2012 at 04:16 PM
they've only done the main roads up here like Westfield Ave....I'm on Concord and none of this area of town has been touched.
TeeSquare December 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Branches and debris are on the grass between sidewalk and street, should they be moved to the street or will the town move and remove the debris?
neveragain December 06, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Nicole, in reply to your comment above, they ARE picking up leaves. Mine were picked up over 2 weeks ago. I spoke with the gentlemen who were vacuuming them up and asked, "What about the debris, I thought that was being picked up first?" They didn't know anything about it. I've had a large pile of debris out since a few days after the storm - and it's still there. The folks at the Manager's Office don't have any answers when you ask them what the procedure is for the pick-ups. I know the men in Public Works are working hard, but the disorganization and lack of information in the Township beginning October 29 continues to today. Very disappointing.
Nicole Bitette (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Hi neveragain, Thank you for the information. I wasn't aware some of the leaves had been picked up also, that's not how they worded the information at the meeting, good to know. I'm still waiting to see on a list of completed streets so the information is more clear on what has been done.
neveragain December 06, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Nicole, The list of streets yet to be done is on the town website as of a few hours ago. Looks like they still have lots to do! I'm glad to see that my street is on the list - so I still have hope that my debris will be picked up.
MaryAnn December 06, 2012 at 08:53 PM
List for streets says last pass for these streets, most, if not all, never had a first pass to pick up Sandy debris. It looks as if every street in Scotch Plains is on that list. Hopefully all will be picked up by Christmas of the first big snow fall.
Lenapee Tree December 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Thanks, I found the map at http://www.scotchplainsnj.com/HurricaneDebrisProgress_AsOfDec5.pdf If I figure it correctly, the numbers are; Section 1 - 83 total roads, 75 (90%) not done. Section 2 - 98 total roads, 88 (89%) not done. Section 3 - 92 total roads, 63 (68%) not done. Section 4 - 107 total roads, 4 (3%) not done. Would someone check my math please.
Debbie Greh December 06, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Just saw the list. section 4 is almost complete, but the rest has hardly been touched. Was section 4 hit worse then the rest? Seems to me that section 1, where the business section is, should be a priority. who prioritizes the schedule? the next meeting is December 17?
Nicole Bitette (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Hi neveragain, Thank you! I added the link to the bottom of the article.
Nicole Bitette (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Hi Debbie, Not sure how they prioritize it but Dec. 17 will be the meeting to discuss the storm, while Dec. 18 will be the next council meeting.
Bonnie J Ruggiero December 07, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Pearl Place hasn't had debris picked up at all.

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