UPDATE: City will begin curbside pick-up of storm debris beginning this week

City Manager John Godwin has updated an “Ice Storm Q&A” he issued early last week.

Curbside Limbs_2City of Paris sanitation trucks will pick up storm debris at curbside, and at no charge to residents, beginning this week in the southeast and southwest quadrants, Godwin says.

Asked whether the city is hiring contractors to help with brush pickup, Godwin said, “No, the city staff is handling all brush pickup for now.”

LaVonne Schepie, secretary for the public works department, said residents should not worry if they’re not ready for pick-up when city trucks come by.

“We will run the streets as many trips as necessary until all the storm debris is gathered,” she said.

Curbside Limbs_1For residents who don’t want to wait for curbside, Godwin said the city has opened up a second site — at Dragon Park on South Collegiate Drive, in the northeast parking lot — for drop-off of brushy and woody waste (no garbage). That site is open on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 4:45 p.m.

That is in addition to the drop-off site the city set up earlier in the week at the back of the sports complex at the back of Love Civic Center on South Collegiate Drive. That site is open and staffed Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 4:45 p.m.

Following are other parts of the “Question-and-Answer” that Godwin issued earlier in the week regarding the 2013 Ice Storm, the worst to hit the city in more than a decade:

ICE STORM Q&A

IS THE CITY HIRING CONTRACTORS FOR ADDITIONAL HELP WITH BRUSH PICKUP?

  • No. City staff is handling all brush pickup for now.

HOW DO I GET THE LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT RESTORATION OF ELECTRIC SERVICE? 

  • Contact your respective service provider (either Oncor or LEC).  Oncor’s number is 888.313.4747; LEC’s number is 903.784.4303.  The city has no control or influence on how quickly service is restored or what areas are restored first.  Oncor also has a website set up at http://stormcenter.oncor.com.

HOW DO I GET INFORMATION ABOUT CABLE OR PHONE SERVICE? 

  • Contact SuddenLink at 888-822-5151 or AT&T at 800-331-0500.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEANING UP DEBRIS IN MY YARD? 

  • The property owner.  The city’s responsibility is to remove debris from public roadways, not private property.

WHAT ARE THE PARAMETERS FOR BRANCHES THE CITY WILL PICK UP AT CURBSIDE? 

  • Tree branches should be no longer than 8-10 feet in length and no more than 18” in diameter.

WILL I BE CHARGED FOR BRUSH PICK UP AT MY CURBSIDE? 

  • No.

AM I ONLY LIMITED TO A 7’X7’X7’ PILE OF LIMBS? 

  • No.

I HAVE HEARD DIFFERENT LOCATIONS FOR BRUSH AND WOODY WASTE DROP-OFF.  HOW DID I KNOW WHAT IS CORRECT?

  • There has been some confusion because we have operated more than one site (due to mud, traffic, size of the brush pile, etc.)  Locations will probably continue to change, so always check with the city’s Public Works department at 903-784-9289 to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.

WILL I BE CHARGED FOR DROPPING BRUSH OFF? 

  • No.

I HAVE LIMBS FROM A BUSINESS/APARTMENT COMPLEX.  CAN I TAKE LIMBS TO THE CITY’S DROP OFF LOCATION? 

  • No, you should take your limbs to a landfill or transfer station (such as Sanitation Solutions).

IS THE CITY PICKING UP ITS NORMAL SANITATION ROUTES? 

  • As much as possible, yes; however, some collections will be delayed due to street conditions; please be patient—we will get to you as soon as we safely can.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS CITIZENS SHOULD TAKE? 

  • Yes.  Be careful with indoor fires, as things such as charcoal grills produce poisonous fumes.  Sitting in a parked car in your garage to get warm is also a bad idea that can cause deadly asphyxiation.  And never grab any loose electric wire.

I HEARD THE CITY ALMOST RAN OUT OF WATER.  IS THAT CORRECT? 

  • No.  We lost electricity at the water treatment plant, the sewer treatment plant, most of our sewer lift stations, and at our water intake at Lake Mayse.  However, we never ran out of water, nor did we order any conservation of any sort.

CAN THE CITY DO ANYTHING TO HELP US GET ELECTRICITY BACK IN SERVICE? 

  • The utility companies are not answerable to the city and so they determine their own work schedules.  However, they have brought in many extra workers, some even from out of state.  The city continues to try to get limbs out of their way (if no wires are connected to them) and we have temporarily waived inspections for anyone who lost electrical service.  We are also waiving reconnect inspections, but for safety purposes, we still require permits for houses that need to replace meter bases and weather heads.  However, these inspections and permits can be done after the fact, and those fees will be waived as well.

IF I NEED TO CALL THE CITY AFTER HOURS, WHO DO I CALL? 

  • As always, for any emergency, call 911.  For non-emergencies, you can contact the Police Department’s non-emergency number, 903.784.6688, option 0.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.