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Published: Saturday, 2/10/2001

Toledo to restart leaf pickup in March

Is there a pile of muck along your curb that used to be leaves?

Help is on the way.

The city of Toledo is going to resume its leaf-pickup program that was cut short by early snowfalls.

Bill Franklin, commissioner of streets, bridges, and harbors, said he's not sure when the program resume, but it likely will be sometime in March when the temperatures are consistently above freezing.

“It will be like the fall program all over again,” he said, adding that signs will be posted on streets and collection schedules will be published. The undertaking, however, will concentrate only on areas where leaves previously were not collected, he said.

Mr. Franklin said the annual leaf pickup began on Oct. 30. It typically takes seven weeks. But by the first week of December, the snowfalls made leaf collection impossible, he said.

From Dec. 7 to Jan. 6, street crews had their hands full with snow and ice control, he said. After a break in the weather, crews attempted to work on leaves again, only to find that many of the piles were ice blocks, he said.

The ice is harmful on leaf pickup equipment and lawns were getting damaged, so Mr. Franklin said the decision was made to wait until the weather breaks.

This is also the time of year when Mr. Franklin said he wants crews to concentrate on filling potholes, not collecting leaves.

“We're going to wait until we have the weather that we need so we can do it right,” he said. He added that crews would respond to leaf complaints on an individual basis.

The city intends to hire a crew of temporary workers to rake leaves back into the streets, he said.

Many residents had their leaves on the streets for pickup, but snowplows pushed them back onto curb lawns.

“We're going to make this right,” he said, adding that he appreciates the public's patience with the situation. “This was unusual conditions.”

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