Featured Letter: Sandy’s no excuse not to bag your leaves

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | A tree crushed a Honda during Hurricane Sandy.

To the Editor:

The Town of Riverhead Highway Department is doing a great job and is still busy cleaning up fallen trees on its roads due to Hurricane Sandy.

They still have a lot of work ahead of them to clean up trees left at curbsides by residential homeowners, which cannot be taken by our weekly scheduled refuse carter for removal. Now, people are dumping their leaves in the street for the town to take away. Another burden the town highway department has to wrestle with.

Why is it the town’s responsibility to incur costs of leaf removal from residential homeowners who dump leaves in the street? Is it town property? No! It’s private property owners’ debris, not the town’s financial burden. This is increasing the budgetary demand on our town, as well as paper bags to supply to homeowners to bag their own leaves.

I see our town going down the same road as Brookhaven Town, where the leaves stay in the road for months due to overwhelming demand upon their highway department. They cannot even plow the roads of snow due to a lack of room from leaves inhibiting the roads, creating dangerous situations.

Brookhaven Town has a high expense for leaf removal. Riverhead Town should stop this future spiraling expense, especially as our town grows with more residential homes.

It creates narrow roads for vehicles to pass and a danger when stopping, when leaves get wet. Not to mention our street sewers being inhibited for water drainage safety and icy roads due to back-up problems from leaves, as well as tempers flaring, as people have already incurred time and costs to remove leaves and have to incur additional time, money to clean up leaves blowing around from piles left in the street.

Again, it is not the town’s responsibility to pick up leaves and I should not pay an increase in taxes due to this expense. If a person dumps leaves in the street, creating a hazard, then those people should be billed directly by the town, to haul those leaves away at their expense, not at my expense with taxes.

James Irwin, Jamesport

Read more Letters to the Editor in this week’s Riverhead News-Review available on newsstands or by clicking for the E-Paper.