Brush pickup

CIty of Murray Public Works employee Carver Lawson, right, grabs a load of broken tree branches Tuesday morning in the yard of a home on Cherry Street, as teammates Clint Evans, left, and Dennis Forbes prepare to grab a load themselves for insertion into a chipper being used for the city's special brush pickup.

MURRAY — Along with this week’s start of a special brush pickup to help remove tree pieces that may have fallen in yards during recent storms, City of Murray officials are warning about something else that tends to happen during these situations.

Tree service businesses become frequent sights in neighborhoods during times after storms have caused damage. And as residents continue the cleanup from the storms of nearly two weeks ago, City of Murray Street and Solid Waste Manager Ron Allbritten said this is the time such businesses may try to take advantage of the situation.

“It’s at times like this you have people suddenly coming out of the woodwork wanting to make some extra money, so make sure they have a license with the city because, that way, you at least would know that you’re going to get some reputable people doing business here,” Allbritten said.

The city’s Director of Planning, Jeremy Buchanan, said a concern of the city is that such contractors do not have proper insurance, in addition to not having licensing. In a news release circulated on June 24, just two days after severe storms inflicted major tree damage within the city, Buchanan recommended that residents with damage severe enough to require a tree service use strong caution should they consider utilizing services with “door-to-door solicitors.”

“Removal of debris should be part of a tree service agreement,” he said, adding that information is available regarding businesses that are licensed to handle tree cutting or trimming services by phoning the city at 270-762-0330. 

The Calloway County Government is also watching this situation carefully as several county residents are still dealing with damage from not only the June 22 storm, but storms that sent trees falling two days earlier, as well as in the days that followed the 22nd. 

“We’ve got several well-known services who have been doing business here for quite some time, so people need to go with those if they can,” said Calloway County Solid Waste Coordinator Gidget Manning. “Certainly, you need to make sure you don’t pay in advance of the work being done and you also need to make sure you have something in writing.”

Manning said the county does not do pickup like the city, meaning residents are left to determine the best way to dispose of branches, limbs or trunks that may have come down during a storm. She said some may take those to the city’s transfer station, which Allbritten said would bring a minimum charge of $6.

Others may choose more drastic measures. 

“We do have several that will burn the debris, and as long as it’s just wood from the trees, that’s fine,” Manning said. “We do have burn hours and that’s 6 o’clock in the evening until 6 o’clock in the morning.”

City residents can also burn, but they must have a permit. Controlled burns from May 1-Sept. 30 do not have specified times. In addition, controlled burns must be a minimum of 50 feet from any structures and must be attended at all times, with fire extinguishers or a water hose also present. 

For information on permits, call the Murray Fire Department at 270-762-0320. 

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