When Gov. Mike Beebe asked the federal government for help for seven counties after the Christmas Day snowstorm, he estimated the cost of cleanup at $9 million.
Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski and Saline counties were hardest hit.
Faulkner County wasn’t included in the Governor’s request.
Cleaning up debris within Conway’s city limits, mainly limbs and brush to be chipped and hauled away, is the job of Conway’s Sanitation Dept.
“We’ve been working continuously since the storm,” said Cheryl Harrington, the city’s director of sanitation.
A regular yard waste crew with the city’s one chipper truck have been rolling through neighborhoods, disposing of limbs and brush from trees broken by ice and heavy snowfall.
Some crews have loaded debris onto trucks and trailers.
There has been overtime paid to some of the department’s 92 workers, Harrington said.
No deadline for completion of the herculean task has been set, because, well, winter isn’t over and there may be other wintry events.
Harrington is asking for patience from residents.
“We’re working on a week-by-week basis, and we hope to be all caught up in the next month,” she said.
When budgets allow, a second chipper truck at a cost of $60,000, is in the future.
The debris will not go into the landfill.
“Once the limbs and branches are chipped, we’ll add it to our mulching station,” Harrington said.
“When it’s dry and we have prettier weather, we’ll have lots of nice mulch, free to the community,” Harrington said.
The price of another stationary chipper for mulching? $650,000.