Sandusky, Perkins leaf pickup on the way -- honest

PERKINS TWP. The pile of leaves in Virginia Gerhart's yard has been there since Thanksgiving weekend
susanmcmillan
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

The pile of leaves in Virginia Gerhart's yard has been there since Thanksgiving weekend.

A month after Perkins Township was supposed to finish leaf collection, Gerhart worries about the sickly yellow spot the pile will leave in her lawn.

"The grass underneath -- it takes a while for it to come back in the spring," she said.

Leaf collection was delayed last year too, she said.

"Every time it snows, then you wonder if they'll still come," Gerhart said.

Sandusky and Perkins may be running behind in picking up residents' leaves, but officials say they're working as hard as they can to finish the job.

Perkins began its first round of leaf collections Oct. 27 and was supposed to finish the second round by Dec. 5, but snow and ice got in the way.

"The cold that we've gotten and that type of weather is earlier than usual," Perkins highway superintendent Daryel Sternberg said.

Last year's pickup followed the same pattern -- leaves falling late, snow starting early -- and crews didn't finish the work until late January, Sternberg said.

Sandusky was also playing catch-up, city manager Matt Kline said.

"I've got a hundred percent of our street crew picking up leaves," he said.

Sandusky began leaf collection Oct. 31 and was scheduled to finish by Dec. 19.

The snow causes problems for workers, even when they aren't busy plowing and salting streets.

"The leaves are pretty much wet and frozen," Kline said. "The vacuum truck doesn't work on the leaves, so they have to do it manually. That's a lot slower than the vac truck."

Sternberg said Perkins has prioritized curbed streets first to keep the leaves away from the drains.

"The leaves end up getting down in the drains and sewer system, and they plug things up, which causes other maintenance issues," he said.

Sternberg said last week that his crews were about two-thirds finished with their second sweep through the township.

In the meantime, several residents have called in wanting to what's going on.

"The No. 1 thing we're getting is: Are we still doing it?" Sternberg said. "The answer to that is: Yes, we are."