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New Leaf Collection Proposal: Enforcement, Enforcement, Enforcement

You don't have to bag your own leaves, but you do have to follow the rules – or else, the village says.

Instead of telling residents to this fall, the village will simply be asking them to abide by the rules long in effect.

Unlike past years, those not following the regulations will be facing stiff fines, staff said Wednesday night.

"We will just be strictly enforcing those to make sure we don't have the leaf/branch issues that we had in 2012," Village Manager Ken Gabbert said. 

If you don't remember some of the basics of leaf collection protocal, the village will be reminding you. Count on it, was the message.

Staff hammered some of the basic no-no's Wednesday night. The biggest, arguably, is the restriction on putting the leaf piles out more than seven days before Streets is scheduled to pick them up.

"We made it clear if you put it out more than seven days in advance, you will get a summons," Gabbert said. "That obviously will keep those streets a little bit cleaner."

He also noted that per village ordinance, residents cannot place a leaf pile within ten feet of a storm drain. 

The other main component of the slightly revised plan is to ban residents on main roads from putting leaves out in the roads and must be past the sidewalk. 

Councilman Tom Riche expressed concern that some of the narrow side streets (like South Murray or Cottage Pl.) become impassable and pose a danger. However, no change is planned for those roads, Streets Division head John Spano said.

"If they put them out when they're supposed to, there won't be a problem," he added, noting Greg Moritz, of Property Maintenance, will be making rounds. Workers will also be tasked to enforce the rules, Gabbert said.

The "education program" will be disseminated through Facebook, Twitter, the village website, and on printed material sent to homes, according Spano.

Challenges await, however. If a neighbor's landscaper blows the leaves onto the street in front of your property, there's a good chance you'll be receiving a ticket in the mail, to the tune of $100 plus processing fees.

The summonses were proposed to be issued as liens on property to avoid the slow pace of the courts system, Gabbert said.

"It allows us to get the job done, it allows us to get the leaves out of the street...it's really the only way to get on board with this so people know we're serious."

However, according to Village Attorney Matt Rogers, summonses have to legally go through the courts system for challenges.

They'll be discussing the legal issues further before the council signs off on the policy change. 

News Man September 07, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Have a cup of coffee with Council and New Comers Saturday 10 AM at the Village Stable. Share your questions and information. Check your Village to confirm time and location. Oh yes, bring your camera and take a photo or two to share with us.
thetentman September 07, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Let's hope they have enough manpower to keep the schedule
dara brown September 07, 2012 at 11:12 AM
How about posting No parking signs on the streets for the dates of leaf removal and or street sweeeping. A homeowner cannot say who may/may not park in front of their house. Also, how does Gabbert propose to determine whether the leaves in the street in front of a house come from a town tree or my yard? Another unenforceable rule. Just hire a private contractor to do the leaves every week during the season. If we didnt wait untill there were massive piles, a broom on the front of a pickup truck would do the job (as I have seen in other towns)
jp1 September 07, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Enforcement of any kind in town is a joke ,who is going to do it.
JAFO September 07, 2012 at 12:57 PM
How about they enforce the law about clearing sidewalks of snow?????
Hillari Ramsay September 07, 2012 at 01:18 PM
How about, if you can afford to pay a landscaper to blow the leaves off the lawn you can afford to have them haul them away.
RdgwdGRock September 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
yes, you are correct. this is violated all the time.
RdgwdGRock September 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
what about leaves that blow around and then aggregate at one spot out in the street. will the town fine mother nature? I follow the rules, but the town is lazy in following their own schedule. and please, please stop going on about last year. snowtober was a one time event. get over it.
Zman September 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM
The problem is that the villages publishes clean up dates and then NEVER COMES TO PICK UP THE LEAVES. They then wait until middle December to do a one-day massive cleanup. N Monroe was littered with piles of leaves from October to December. Not once did the town follow any of schedule for collection.
Cy Caine September 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I live on Van Dien, so I read this comment in the article with interest: "The other main component of the slightly revised plan is to ban residents on main roads from putting leaves out in the roads and must be past the sidewalk." What does this mean? That leaves must piled on the house side of the sidewalk? If so, how will they be collected? Tried to find info on this on the village website, but found nothing.
JAFO September 07, 2012 at 04:25 PM
on the berm, between the sidewalk and street
KHK September 07, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Hmm..what happens if you don't have a strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street? Can't block the sidewalk or the street..and there is no landscaper to take them away, as we still rake our own leaves. If the town would just come get them when they are supposed to, their short term presence in the street wouldn't be a problem. And it is time to start enforcing the snow on the sidewalk ordinance...my child shouldn't have to walk in the street to get to the bus because the neighbors are lazy.
Cy Caine September 07, 2012 at 05:44 PM
There is no way all of the leaves from my property will fit in the space between the sidewalk and the street. So is the fine higher when they spill onto the sidewalk or the street?
Hillari Ramsay September 07, 2012 at 05:55 PM
When I was growing up in The Wood, we bagged the leaves! Does anybody know what the issue is with asking residents to bag their leaves? Is it because leaf removal service is being paid for with tax dollars? And if that is the reason, then what we are saying is that principle trumps safety?
RdgwdGRock September 07, 2012 at 05:57 PM
same here; leaves from my property will not fit in the space between the sidewalk and the street. tell the lazy arse roads dept to p/u leaves on-time. perhaps the residents should reverse fine the village when leaves are not picked-up by each scheduled date. no excuses for rain, snow, whatever.
RdgwdGRock September 07, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Just checked the leaf collection schedule, which in my area the first p/u is for Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30. Is the 7-day rule start before the first or second day of each 2-day p/u window. Some clarity with these "rules" would be nice.
News Man September 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Identify the leaves as RNC and DNC left over debri and they will be picked up quickly in our non-partisan Community.... (I hope)
RB September 08, 2012 at 01:59 AM
The town needs to stick to the schedule. Nobody knows when they're going to show up. Also, landscapers are usually right behind the pick up leaving piles of leaves that sit there for weeks. Come up with a precise schedule and stick to it. Friends in neighboring towns know exactly when their pick up is going to take place and plan accordingly. No guess work.
Ridgewooder September 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I agree.
Deanne Dunne September 09, 2012 at 10:18 AM
I agree with Zman. The Village had not picked up the leaves at all between those dates. The printed schedule was not followed. I would love to see the RW log of when the pickups actually occurred last year. Did anyone price out what it would cost to supplement with private companies? Something needs to be done or more accidents will happen. Don't forget October is Walk-to-School Month -and we need a safe envioronment for our children to walk in. Thank you.
RdgwdGRock September 09, 2012 at 12:02 PM
on the website schedule page, there is a note that states "Reminder: No leaves in the street seven calendar days before the scheduled date". soooo, it seems that it is ok to put leaves in the street.
North Monroe September 10, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I suggest we hire Midland Park or WEaldwic for leaf cleanup & snow removal. There streets are always cleaner and there taxes are lower.

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