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Price is Rising For Scarsdale's Storm Cleanup

SCARSDALE, N.Y. - Budget concerns and the unique nature of the Oct. 29 snowstorm have conspired to play havoc with Scarsdale's cleanup effort, according to Village Manager Alfred Gatta, who plans to authorize some overtime and an extension of the yard waste drop-off fee moratorium at the recycling center.

The storm cleanup has already cost the village nearly $200,000, and Gatta said earlier he expects that total to eventually be in the "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Leaves and limbs are piled high on roadsides throughout the village, in some cases protruding into driving lanes. Village workers are making their way, street by street, to clean up the mess, but the process is taking longer than village officials had hoped.

Gatta said that is mostly due to the unusually large amounts of brush, branches, limbs and tree trunks that have come down during the storm.

"This is made worse since the storm and snow happened in the middle of leaf pickup season," he said. "It never happened before."

Gatta said village employees had to dismantle leaf collection boxes from all the trucks and pull the vacuum machines and attached snow plows instead.

"Then we had to place the boxes on the trucks again and get the vacuums back in operation," he said.

The village has asked homeowners to have their landscapers take yard waste directly to the recycling plant, where drop-off fees have been waived through Nov. 18.

"About 40 percent of the tonnage is coming directly from the residents or their landscapers," Gatta said.

He also said the village plans to extend the free drop-off period.

"We will extend the fee waiver until Dec. 2 and ask the mayor to announce it at the Nov. 22 Village Board meeting," he said.

He also plans to ask workers to put in extra hours.

"We have not been working overtime as in the past – 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays and holidays," he said. "But, beginning this Saturday, we will start working Saturdays for leaf pickup only because the last three Saturdays were programmed in this budget."

Gatta said he is hopeful that the cleanup will be completed before the next storm, or by the first day of winter -Dec. 21, but indicated it could take longer.


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