City cleanup underway for spring months

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 29, 2016

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Warm weather has hit the area earlier than usual following a mild winter, prompting city workers to set aside the salt and snowplows to begin spring cleaning.

Roseville Department of Public Services Director Thomas Aiuto said crews have been out every day to patch potholes as they pop up — something they have been able to do a lot due to the mild winter — and have been able to get started on tree trimming.

They also have been able to go through to repaint and repair picnic tables for the parks over the winter, Aiuto said, though that is a typical part of winter maintenance.

The contractors hired to maintain and clean the city parks are ready to get to work once the ground gets less damp, he said.

“If it’s not too wet in the next few weeks, they will be out in mid-April,” Aiuto said.

For residents, Aiuto said compost pickup will begin April 4, and yards will have to be kept up according to city ordinances at that time.

Eastpointe Department of Public Works Superintendent Tony Pry said curbside yard waste pickup would start March 28 — after this article went to press — though prior to that point, people had been bringing their yard waste to the DPW yard on 10 Mile.

“The weather’s been nice; people are cleaning up their yards,” Pry said. “So right now, we’re allowing them to bring their brush and bags right here to 10 Mile and utilize the dumpster here until we do pickup.”

Pry said the city also has its annual open yard day scheduled for May 14, when residents can bring in yard waste, garbage, concrete, and anything besides paint and toxic chemicals for disposal.

He said Eastpointe also has had crews of three or four people out fixing potholes for about two weeks. Another two are assigned solely to picking up debris that has fallen due to storms over the winter months, while street sweeping is being done daily. Tree trimmers have already started their work for the season.

“We’re weeks ahead of the game,” Pry added. “We’re already pouring concrete.”

Mary Van Haaren, director of parks and economic development, said contractors are making up lists of what needs to be fixed in the parks and getting them repaired or patched. They had not started cleaning the parks or cutting grass themselves as of March 23, and they most likely would not start until the end of the month, Van Haaren said.

She said the Beautification Commission is meeting to discuss adoptable gardens in landscaping areas on Gratiot and Kelly.

“We’re hoping to build some more enthusiasm this year for people who may want to adopt a garden and maintain that,” Van Haaren said. “They can use it as a method for advertising or promoting their business, or maybe it’s a family that wants to adopt a garden, so we’re identifying which ones are available to adopt and hopefully getting someone on board.”

It is still possible that ice and snow could hit the region, Aiuto said. Even though the winter was mild, he said the city still ended up using about the same amount of salt as usual to keep streets safe after snow and ice storms, though overall the trucks had a lot less wear and tear.

Roseville just fully restocked its salt supply in advance of the price potentially increasing for next year, and Aiuto said the trucks are still ready to hit the roads if need be.

In Eastpointe, Pry said they used less road salt than usual and should be able to restock the city salt barn with just what was purchased and stored remotely this winter.

Pry added that after the severe winter in 2014 — which led to communities battling salt shortages — Eastpointe, Roseville, St. Clair Shores and Fraser formed a working relationship where each community assists the others with materials and equipment if necessary. As such, in the event of another bad winter, he believes all four will be prepared.

“Not a lot of cities do that. Everyone wants their own independence,” he said. “If I want something, I should be able to call someone and get it. It works out easier and was utilized a lot more than people would believe, because no one can afford to keep everything on the shelves at all times.”