St. Joseph County Commissioners approve leaf pickup contract

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The St. Joseph County Commissioners voted on how to handle fall leaves.

They want to extend the leaf pick-up contract that ended earlier this year, but not all the commissioners were on board with that.

They voted 2 to 1 for the new leaf pick up contract.

The meeting was an hour long with many questions about the proposed contract.

Democrat Commissioner Dave Thomas was the only one who voted against the contract.

"Having no time to review it with attorneys other than myself the last couple of hours before the meeting I certainly researched and went over the contracts and found discrepancies and typos," said Thomas.

The contract that passed will provide two collection passes for leaf pick up.

The tentative start date for the first pass is October 28th and it will cover all townships.

"This program was not now nor never intended to be a comprehensive program that all the leaves got picked up. This is a way to assist homeowners in getting one or two passes and in some cases three passes in the past to help them manage those costs," said Andrew Kostielney, Republican County Commissioner.

Homeowners like Rick Bauer said the leaf pick up program does not help.

He sees leaves on the ground every year from the many trees in his yard.

"Personally I haven’t seen much of an improvement. The first year was terrible. We didn’t even get picked up at all In the fall. Not until the spring," said Bauer.

He said it's too big of a territory for one company to handle.

This year's contract will have a new addition.

"One of the things we are looking at doing is having drop off sites so if residents have a small amount of leaves or a large amount of leaves they can bag them up and drop them off at a site and not wait for the pickup to happen then they can do that," said Kostielney.

St. Joe County Recyling will be responsible for the leaf pick ups.

That's the company that used to be called Greenworld and had the contract in the past.

The contract won't go into full effect until the company proves it has proper licensing to do the job.

If it can't, the contract becomes void.

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