South Amherst Common yesterday
Amherst demonstrated the shop local initiative by signing a one year contract with Wagner Wood (with an option to renew for another two years) to clear the town's public ways of brush and tree debris still remaining more than a month after the devastating October 30 nor' easter.
Wagner was originally enlisted as an emergency measure the morning after the storm reigned down debris like a biblical curse, taking out power, blocking roads and driveways while damaging public and private property.
In those first seven dark days (the time period for Federal Emergency Management Agency 75% reimbursement) Wagner, Amherst DPW and other private contractors collected 3,000 cubic yards of fallout. And over the past four weeks an additional 3,000 cubic yards but with 1,500 remaining on public right of way and 1,500 on private property.
Currently the town has spent about $225,000 to clean up the 6,000 cubic yards, or 3,000 tons of debris.
Although Wagner is contracted and funded by tax dollars for public shade tree clean up only, Amherst has coordinated a deal whereby the town (using Wagner) will extend to private homeowners--many of whom dragged debris curbside expecting town pickup--a competitive $28/cubic yard removal charge, obviating the need to drag the unwieldy material to the town's transfer station to pay $50/ton, which works out to about the same cubic yard price.
Targeted letters will got out soon to impacted homeowners.
Wagner's winning proposal to the town:
For crew and equipment to collect and transfer wood and vegetative debris $28 per cubic yard. For crew of two and equipment (chipper) to collect and chip wood and vegetative debris along public way or Town property is $275.00 an hour. For wood and vegetative waste received at contractor site it is $6 a cubic yard and/or $50 a ton.