Farmington to strictly enforce new cleanup restrictions

Jun 19 2011 - 10:32pm

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FARMINGTON -- City officials have implemented new guidelines for spring cleanup, which suggests violations will no longer be overlooked.

The council recently voted to adopt new spring cleanup policies that give city crews the right to put limits on what and how much they will pick up from local residences.

Council members suggest the policies will be strictly enforced.

The new rules include:

  • Restrictions on pickup of construction debris, bricks, concrete, rocks, appliances, furniture and wood building material.
  • Size guidelines for limbs and debris. Limbs must be cut in sections of less than 5 feet and "be neatly stacked" at the curb.
  • Limits on how much will be picked up from one residence. Only one 10-wheel dump-truck load of debris will be hauled away from any one property owner's frontage.
  • Restrictions on using boxes or plastic bags for containing leaves or pine needles.

City Manager Dave Millheim said the spring cleanup tradition, which uses city work crews and equipment, simply cannot continue at its current pace.

Spring cleanup is time-consuming; it takes up to a month for city Department of Public Works and Parks and Recreation employees to pick up branches and limbs curbside, he said.

The cost of the service is $50,000 to $100,000 a season, Millheim estimates.

As the west side of the city develops, it could conceivably take city crews as long as three months to complete the annual cleanup, he said.

He doesn't think the city has the time or money to devote to the effort.

Public Works Director Walt Hokanson routinely takes pictures of violations that occur during cleanup, but until now, city crews have simply spent the extra time to complete the work.

Crews have attempted to use warning labels to make some homeowners aware of violations, but those labels have been ignored.

Mayor Scott Harbertson said warning labels on stacks of limbs need to use stronger language.

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