YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Fallen trees from Hurricane Sandy will not be picked up by Yorktown unless they have been marked by the town with a white X and are within the town’s right-of-way, said Supervisor Michael Grace.
“Those are trees that we believe are in the town’s jurisdiction as far as our responsibility,” he said. “The trees on your own yard are going to be the homeowner’s responsibility. It wouldn’t be proper legally for the town to go onto people’s property to clean up debris that’s within the confines of their property.”
Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo and his crew visited every street in Yorktown and marked seven pages worth of trees that will be removed by an outside company.
“At this point we have a slew of pages of wood that we’re going to be removing,” DiBartolo said.
The town will continue to enforce its policy of only picking up bundled branches no longer than five inches in diameter and 48 inches in length. Grace said the town’s wood chipper cannot handle logs or trees, regardless of how small they are chopped up.
“We have some areas where I guess people were hopeful that if they cut up their big, big logs into bite-size chunks and put them on the side of the road that we would pick them up, and that’s not the case,” Grace said. "If you cut up your big tree into little bite-size pieces and put it out on the road, you’re going to end up with it back on your property because we are not taking your big logs.”
Grace's office has been flooded with phone calls about tree removal from private property, but he said the board is not legally allowed to use town resources and taxpayer money on something that would provide a private benefit.
“We understand the storm was a big hardship on a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, and we would love to be able to help everyone, but that’s not possible,” Grace said. “We’re not the landscapers of everybody’s property, as much as we may like to be.“