08/15/07 — Tree limb cleanup slower than city expected

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Tree limb cleanup slower than city expected

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 15, 2007 1:45 PM

With every load of branches and debris city crews haul to the compost facility, another seems to surface.

Goldsboro is still recovering from Friday's storm that left many residents without power and hundreds of yards in shambles, but Public Works director Neil Bartlett said the clean-up effort is far from complete.

"Almost as fast as we get through it, residents are behind us, piling up more," he said. "But other than that, everything is going well."

Bartlett said he hopes to begin pulling crews off neighborhood cleanup by the end of next week.

In the meantime, he is cutting back overtime and encouraging his staff to work fewer hours.

"Everybody we can spare is on it," he said. "But as the heat and humidity pick up, they need to be working fewer hours."

Many employees have been involved in the effort since the storm hit -- coming in as the storm intensified Friday evening and working through the weekend around Goldsboro High School and Herman Park, the areas officials say were hit the worst.

Bartlett praised them earlier in the week for their relentless pursuit of a clean town -- and for keeping a positive attitude all the while.

"When I was coming into town Friday evening, when I saw the damage we had, I got on the phone," he said Monday. "Every person I called, there was no hesitation. They were just as dedicated as can be."

Bartlett hopes residents will remain patient and understand that although clean-up is "going well," it will be a slow process.

His crews will make their way through each neighborhood once before returning to collect additional debris from areas they have already covered.

Most of the debris will be taken to the city's compost facility, officials said. The rest will be dumped in the landfill.

Bartlett said he has "no reason" to believe that space at the sites will become an issue.

Work is also continuing at the Days Inn site, where contractors have been hired to remove the debris generated by the storm.

The property has been posted as condemned due to the extent of the damage.