Editorial

Storm cleanup

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cape Girardeau officials made a prudent move by contracting for additional help with storm cleanup.

The city hired Marriott Logging to collect all the debris piled along curbs from recent ice storms. The city quickly learned that using city crews to do the work would be a time-consuming task and would pull those workers from other duties.

The contractor will be paid $310 per hour for the work, which will be made easier with larger trucks, better equipment and the contractor's experience in this kind of work. The contract calls for 100 hours of work over 10 days. The contract cost was low because the owner of the company has relatives in the city who welcomed four workers into their home.

Meanwhile, Jackson is plugging along. Last week, the city asked residents to volunteer to help remove debris from the city park. Jackson has estimated that the storm damage will cost the city at least $1.2 million. Jackson crews are working diligently to clean up the debris, but public works director Rodney Bollinger said it could be two months before all of the limbs are picked up from curbs. Bollinger said Jackson will, like Cape Girardeau, likely put a contract out for bid if federal assistance comes through. Last week Gov. Matt Blunt asked President Bush for federal assistance in dealing with the aftermath.

Bollinger said Jackson's storm cleanup is more labor intensive than the tornado that hit that city's midsection in 2004 because there is a wider area of destruction. Until the city is notified it will be receiving federal assistance, city workers will continue to pick up debris one block at a time.

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