Debris Pickup Update
October 6, 2017
This note is being sent to all members of the Coquina Sands Homeowners Association and addresses two topics. First, shown below is an update from the City Manager. Bill Moss, concerning the progress made in picking up the hurricane Irma debris. City council member, Doug Finlay, estimates that as of yesterday 40,726 cy yds of debris had been hauled from city streets. Total hurricane Irma load in the city is estimated at 360,000 cu yds. Currently 26 trucks are operating in the city which is up from 12 trucks a week ago. Thursday’s haul away was 4.658 cu yds. Assuming the daily hauling load stays the same as yesterday, it will take 68 more days to remove all of the debris from the city (360,000 - 41,000 = 319,000 divided by 4,658 = 68). This is a rough estimate only. The letter contains important information for home owners concerning debris pickup. Please read it!
The second issue is an update concerning the status of the proposed garage project at 4th and 4th. The Naples City Council voted on Wednesday by a vote of 7-0 to “delay indefinitely” any further discussion regarding the construction of a garage. Further information concerning the efforts of the garage coalition with respect to the project are shown below. Please feel free to reach out to us with respect to any concerns you may have concerning our community. Best regards,
Bill Lutz, President
Coquina Sands Association
An Update from Our City Manager Concerning the City of Naples Debris Pickup Status
October 6, 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The purpose of this message is to offer an update to the progress of recovery efforts in Naples following Hurricane Irma.
As property owners return to Naples, they see their city is open for business; people have returned to work; schools are open; and social life is in abundance. Nearly all shops and restaurants are open on 5th Avenue S., 3rd Street S., 10th Street, U.S. 41, the Coastland Mall, and Venetian Village. Construction of the new City Dock and the Gordon River Bridge Crossing at Baker Park has resumed. The Naples Pier is open to the concession stand, and the beach has been cleared of storm debris. Landscape is turning green again, and the temperature just slightly cooler. Rainfall continues to break historic records, and more is expected in the coming days as a tropical storm moves northward in the Gulf of Mexico.
The obvious downside is loss of trees and shrubs and piles of horticulture debris along the streets.
Fortunately, most property owners assisted the hurricane recovery effort by moving horticultural debris to the right-of-way. This allows a more efficient clean-up effort. Unfortunately, back-to-back hurricanes (Harvey and Irma) and the state-wide impact of Irma has created a shortage of FEMA-qualified trucks to haul debris. None-the-less, the slow start-up of debris removal improves daily. As of today, 26 FEMA certified trucks are working in various sections of the city, supplemented by four additional trucks from the city. City trucks are now picking up storm-damaged building materials, carpet, and furnishings.
The Naples City Council received a briefing from AshBritt Environmental, the firm under contract to haul storm debris. The estimated debris, county-wide, is four million cubic yards, with 330,000 cubic yards within the City of Naples. This quantity is four times the amount of debris from the 2005 Hurricane Wilma. It took about three months to complete debris removal following Hurricane Wilma. It will take about the same time to remove all horticulture debris within the city. We ask for patience as the city and county proceed with this massive debris removal.
We also ask that Naples property owners and businesses continue to assist in the cleanup effort by:
● Asking landscapers to haul away horticulture debris next to the street rather than waiting for pickup by FEMA-certified trucks, especially if it is a small quantity.
● Once a debris pile is removed, ask your landscaper to remove any remaining branches and leaves from the street.
● Consolidating smaller piles or single palm fronds and branches into a larger pile next to the street.
● Avoid placing horticulture debris next to storm drains, mailboxes, signs, poles, fire hydrants, water meters, and under trees with low branches.
● Do not place leaves or other debris in plastic or paper bags. Bags cannot be mixed with horticultural debris and will not be picked up.
● Do not mix horticulture debris with building materials, furnishing, carpets, and other bulk items. They must be in separate piles. To arrange pickup of building materials and other bulk items, please call 239-213-4700. This service will be available without charge for a limited period.
Following Hurricane Irma, property owners and their landscapers were informed of the temporary suspension of the requirement that landscapers must haul away horticulture debris from properties. The requirement was suspended so that landscapers may place debris next to the street and thereby service other city clients more quickly. Effective immediately, landscape firms must resume the hauling of new horticulture debris from properties to their preferred landfill site. Landscape firms may no longer place debris next to the street. Please inform your landscaper.
Debris previously placed next to the street may remain for pickup by FEMA-certified trucks. Property owners (not landscapers) who remove horticulture debris themselves may continue to place the debris next to the street adjacent to their property.
City crews and contractors continue to cut downed trees and thousands of hanging tree branches. Clearing of parks and public parking lots is finished, and repair of damaged infrastructure continues as a priority. Damaged trees on the public right-of-way that have been designated as “city trees” will be trimmed as necessary. City trees that have toppled onto private property will be removed by the city. The stumps will be removed later.
Several thousand city trees along the right-of-way, medians, and parks have been lost. We again learned that some species cannot withstand hurricane-force winds, especially with wet soil conditions. We cannot tell you which trees will be replaced in the future. The City’s arborist and Tree Board will develop a proposed plan for consideration by City Council.
We have received inquiries as to when debris will be removed from a street. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a schedule as to when debris will be picked up at a specific location. There are simply too many variables to allow development of an accurate schedule for a particular street. The priority was to clear debris around the schools, commercial areas, and where the social fabric was significantly disrupted due to the quantity of debris, narrow roads, and the number of children. Other priorities are the main roads and where stacked debris has created unsafe driving conditions. We know that the operation may interfere with the flow of traffic, so attempts are made to clear some areas when traffic volume is low. Because the FEMA trucks must haul debris to an area near Wiggins Pass, north of Immokalee Road, the travel time is a constraint to the most efficient removal process.
Each time it rains, debris and leaves block storm drains (catch basins) with the potential for street flooding. While crews are assigned to remove debris from catch basins following each rain, we appreciate the assistance of those who remove accumulated debris from nearby storm drains. Please drive carefully, especially after an intense rain.
Over three-hundred decorative street signs were damaged by hurricane-force winds. While most have been placed upright, permanent repairs will be made soon. Damaged street lights will also be repaired.
The city’s hurricane hot line, 239-213-IRMA (4762) continues to be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to answer questions.
Thanks to all citizens who have expressed words of kindness to city employees and the many other people who are working hard to restore our community, and thank you for your patience as we proceed to get things back to normal.
Please share this message with your friends and colleagues.
Status of the 4th and 4th Garage Project