(From the City of Joplin)
With today’s deadline for the last pass of debris removal, City officials are asking residents and property owners to help with the cleanup one more way: Be a good neighbor by keeping your debris on your own property.
Roving debris monitors are reporting that piles of debris are appearing on lots that have already been cleared once, which is seriously impacting the ability of local, state and federal workers to clean up Joplin.
“We have been very impressed with the work and persistence of our residents and volunteers cleaning up Joplin, and this can be very upsetting to those who have cleared their lots already,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “As our community has pulled together these past two months, we do not want to lose that spirit with negative behaviors, such as this.”
State and federal debris monitors are out in full force and are spot-checking work to ensure compliance with debris management requirements. Properties that have already been cleared through the various means, that later have debris piled on them again, will be recorded and authorities notified.
It is estimated that more than 70 percent of debris has been removed from the tornado disaster area.
In addition, citizens are reminded that removal of storm-damaged trees is underway. Over the past several weeks, arborists from the Missouri Department of Conservation and other experts have been evaluating the condition of storm-damaged trees. As a result of this effort, trees that can be saved have been marked with a “K” for “Keep”. The remaining trees are considered hazardous and should be removed in order to protect the public for health and safety reasons.
If you are in the Expedited Debris Area and have signed a Right-of-Entry form granting access to the government-funded contractors to clear loose, tornado debris from your property, or your property was declared a nuisance, but you would like to save an upright tree not designated with a “K”, you must contact the City as soon as possible at 417-624-0820 ext. 539 and sign a tree agreement. This agreement acknowledges your responsibility to remove the tree and pay any associated costs, if the tree later dies.
If you are inside the EDR area and have not granted access to the government-funded contractors to clear debris from your property, there are several options for assistance in the removal of hazardous trees, stumps, and root balls:
· You may remove them yourself. Trees and stumps should be cut flush to the ground. Root balls should be removed and any holes or large depressions left in the ground filled to avoid a hazard.
· You may use volunteers to remove them. Please contact AmeriCorps at 417-625-3558 to request assistance.
·You may grant permission to the government-funded contractors by signing an ROE form to remove hazardous trees, stumps, or root balls only. If your insurance policy does not include coverage for the removal of vegetative debris, there is no duplication of benefit. Therefore, there will not be a cost for this removal. Please contact the City at 417-624-0820 ext. 539 for details.
If you are outside the EDR area, you have the same options to do it yourself, use volunteers, or grant permission to the City to remove the hazardous trees, stumps, or root balls only.
It is your responsibility to ensure the removal of any hazardous trees, stumps, and root balls. Any remaining hazardous trees, stumps, or root balls in the entire disaster area may be treated as a nuisance under City code at any point in the future.
The City recognizes the need for our citizens and community to replace the lost trees. As with the many thousands of people who have donated their efforts to help with Joplin’s recovery, the city has received several offers of assistance to help residents replace and replant trees that were lost or damaged during the tornado, and we are developing other resources to replace lost trees in the fall or next spring when planting times are ideal. Additional information about this program will be available at a later date.