To prep for fall — and the tree leaves that will litter Southampton Town’s curbs in a few weeks — Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor spelled out this year's at a Hampton Bays Beautification Association meeting Monday night.
Gregor told the crowd of about 30 Beautification Association members that curbside loose leaf pick-up is now a town service of the past, unless the homeowner is older than 73 years old or has a doctor’s note. employees will pick up leaves stuffed in paper bags along the town right-of-way, or homeowners or their landscapers can bring them to dumps and transfer stations gratis.
The paper bags are available at the town highway department at a cost of 47 cents each, and residents who buy them will get free ones, too, Gregor said. The bags hold a total of 30 pounds of leaves each.
No brush will be picked up when the highway department makes it rounds this fall, starting Nov. 1.
The changes are the result of a slashed budget — Gregor said he stands to lose his deputy highway superintendent, Bob Welch, in 2012 unless he funds him with his own capital budget — and diminished crews. In the late 1990s, each of the town’s six highway districts used to have 14 to 15 employees, but now they have only eight, he said.
Residents also complained last winter that their
Last year, Gregor had a voluntary bag program. He said he’s “cautiously optimistic” about this year’s new rules. The main problems are in the estate sections of Southampton Town, where landscapers rake up massive amounts of leaves and illegally dump them.
Gregor told the audience that nothing is set in stone with the program this year, and that it may change next year.
He also recommended that homeowners mow their leaves before bagging them, as it reduces their volume by as much as 60 percent, he said.
Doug Jackson, the owner of Action Jackson Tree Service in Hampton Bays, took the opportunity to push his new business venture, leaf removal. In anticipation of the changes in the loose leaf program, Jackson bought an industrial-size leaf-loader that he said is bigger than the town’s.
To avoid the curbside leaf pile-ups that plagued the town, Jackson is sweeping up leaves with his machine by appointment only, he said.
In other news, Hampton Bays Beautification Association President Susan von Freddi said she will be working with the about how organizations can advertize their events without obscuring the hamlet sign near the . The problem was discussed at the last