Garbage collection is expected to resume this week in Perry when the city secures a replacement garbage truck. The city’s residential arm truck was driven by the storm winds into the ditch on its way to the landfill and taken out of service.
“The truck is down for the count,” Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson told the Perry City Council at its Monday night meeting. “We’re pretty confident that we’ll have a rental truck this week. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get through the town this week and pick up garbage, and hopefully then next week we’ll be able to return to our regular garbage schedule.”
Perry Public Works Director Jack Butler said a city employee is flying to Minnesota Tuesday in order to drive a replacement truck to Perry. He said collection could begin as early as Thursday.
“We want to thank the community for being understanding,” Peterson said.
Peterson also said cleanup is proceeding steadily following the derecho disaster. Butler said debris has been cleared from about 25% of the town.
Peterson said four city crews are being assisted by two private contractors — Repp Construction of Perry and Peddicord Construction of Bondurant — with heavy equipment in the removal of downed trees. This will be followed by the removal of hanging branches.
“In full, we’ll probably end of making two if not three passes through town for the piles with our larger equipment,” Peterson said. “Then we’ll have multiple tree contractors come in to remove the hanging branches to remove any immediate liability in the public right of way.”
The city will then turn to trees that are badly damaged but still standing.
“When we’re done with that,” Peterson said, “we’ll go back through and have trees that are damaged enough that they need to be completely taken out, we’ll have those taken out. We hope to get to those hanging branches just so that immediate danger is taken care of.”
Peterson said the work will likely continue for several months. He said the council might wish ultimately to consider changing the city’s tree ordinance in order to prohibit the planting of trees in the parking, which is the area between the curb and the sidewalk.
Perry Mayor John Andorf and the full council praised the rapid response and diligence of the Perry Public Works Department in the face of the historical destruction wrought by the derecho, and they commended the community spirit of common effort and shared sacrifice of the people of Perry.