Cape hires help for storm debris cleanup

Thursday, February 28, 2008

To view a map of cleanup zones click here.

After barely making a dent in debris pickup using all available resources, the city of Cape Girardeau hired a contractor.

On Wednesday, Marriott Logging collected 1,200 cubic yards of debris from the city's south side. Steve Cook, the city's assistant public works director, said his crews managed to get 600 cubic yards, using every truck possible.

The city will pay $310 an hour for the work. Cook said the contract calls for 100 hours of work over 10 days to sweep through the city.

The Brookfield, Mo.,-based Marriott Logging has larger trucks and more experience with disaster recovery, Cook said. The company also had the lowest bid for the work.

Dale Marriott, who owns the company, is driving one of the two trucks, which is equipped with a hydraulic loader. He's been in the debris cleanup business for six years.

He said the bid was low because he and four of his five-man crew, which includes his stepfather, are staying at his mother's house on the city's south side. The fifth worker lives in Cape Girardeau. Marriott said he made a purposefully low bid.

"Here's the way I look at it. I can make decent money doing this, plus I get to stay with my mother," he said. "and I'm just trying to make it, if the city's going to have to pay for it themselves, I'm just trying to make it fair for them."

Tim Gramling, director of public works, said Marriott's crews will move through nine zones, from south to north. On Wednesday, the company worked in Zone A, on the city's southeast corner. Marriott said he would finish that zone today and move to Zone B by midday.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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