Yukon storm debris removal price tag: $700K

Neighborhood clean-up winds down; drainage ditches, medians next

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Incoming City Manager Tammy Kretchmar

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

$700,000.

That’s the newly updated cost to remove ice storm debris from Yukon neighborhoods, an arduous task that was winding down late last week.

The Yukon City Council, at its Dec. 1st meeting, approved revising the City of Yukon’s contract for emergency storm debris removal services.

The council in late October renewed the contract with Arbor Masters Tree Services for emergency storm debris clean-up.

With the recent council approval, the contract cost will not exceed $700,000.

The City of Yukon has rented a large tub grinder to mulch all the tree branches and broken limbs collected at a drop-off disposal site near Highway 66 and Frisco Road. Other costs include city employee overtime and fuel.

Assistant City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said the $700,000 would cover Yukon’s ice storm-related expenses.

The City of Yukon will apply through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reimbursement of storm-related expenses.

Once the president officially declares Yukon a “disaster area,” the city can recover up to 87.5% of those costs.

“We have not heard if it’s been declared,” Kretchmar advised council members.

In a related item, the city council approved increasing the fiscal year 2020-21 budget by $200,000 due to the increased expense.

The quantity of storm-related rubbish is much larger than city officials first expected since the clean-up began Nov. 2.

With support from Yukon Public Works personnel, Arbor Masters’ trucks have been canvassing neighborhoods picking up broken tree limbs and other debris in the aftermath of an unprecedented Oct. 26th ice storm.

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THE ‘SECOND PASS’

A second “pass through town” got underway Monday and was expected to finish by the weekend, according to Kretchmar.

Residents have been instructed to leave storm-related debris curbside.

City officials have estimated there will be 125,000 cubic yards of storm debris collected in Yukon, much of which is being hauled off by the contractor Arbor Masters.

Kretchmar, speaking during the Dec. 1st city council study session, reported that Yukon was on “day 37” of the ice storm clean-up with 73,873 cubic yards collected:

  • Contractor: 58,696 cubic yards (cost $463,698.40)
  • Self-haulers: 5,621 cubic yards
  • City of Yukon crews: 9,556 cubic yards

City of Yukon crews have been cleaning up parks and should start removing storm debris in drainage ditches and road medians next week, Yukon Public Works Director Arnold Adams said.

Kretchmar gave props to the contractor and city employees for their toil.

“They’ve been out there every day since this happened,” she said. “They’ve put in a lot of overtime (and) they worked over Thanksgiving break. We really appreciate all of their efforts.”

Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby

Mayor Shelli Selby is quite impressed with the progress Yukon has made with this monumental ice storm clean-up.

“I know Oklahoma City is saying it may be March before they have their (debris) put away,” Selby said. “It was a safety issue, because at times you couldn’t see around corners.”

In comparison to Oklahoma City, Kretchmar said, “We’re proud to be on time and this far ahead.”

The disposal site on Frisco Road will close to the public Dec. 15. Yukon residents, with proof of residency, can drop off their storm debris at no charge.