By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
City of Yukon storm clean-up efforts are expected to take several more months to finish.
The city council, at a special meeting Nov. 12, voted unanimously to extend the city’s contract with Arbor Masters Tree Service for emergency storm debris removal. City officials initially had hoped their storm clean-up work could be finished by Thanksgiving.
That’s not going to happen due to the copious quantity of storm debris.
City Manager Jim Crosby estimated the contractor by Dec. 10 would be finished with the “first pass” through Yukon neighborhoods picking up broken limbs and other storm-related rubbish.
He told council members it would take another 2-1/2 to three weeks for Arbor Masters to complete the “second pass” hauling off debris.
Once the contractor finishes work in neighborhoods, Yukon Public Works personnel will clean up the city’s drainage ditches, parks and road medians. That likely won’t be finished until March 2021.
Yukon city leaders are asking the public for patience.
“I know some people are frustrated,” Crosby said. “There’s a lot of damage out there.
“We’re going to clean it up as fast as we can.”
The city manager estimated Yukon’s bill with Arbor Masters would be $400,000-$500,000. The initial contract estimate was $168,000, but tree damage is much more substantial that first anticipated.
The City of Yukon must lease a tub grinder to help mulch limbs, estimated at $150,000.
The total cost to Yukon also will include overtime for city employees, tools and fuel.
“This is something we have to do to get our city cleaned up,” Mayor Shelli Selby emphasized.
The city council will seek reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (75%) and State of Oklahoma (12.5%), but Yukon first must officially be declared a “disaster area” by the federal government to be eligible.
Yukon residents can bring storm debris to the Yukon Public Works drop-off site on the southwest corner of Frisco Road and Highway 66. This site is due to close Jan. 15, 2021.