Letter: Burr Ridge can’t afford curbside leaf pickup service?

I had to laugh when I read Burr Ridge can’t afford curbside leaf pickup service, even with repeated requests by residents for 20 years.

According to Village Administrator Steve Stricker, curbside pickup is prohibitively expensive. It seems the real reason is the village’s poor spending priorities, such as:

• about $1.5 million to 2 million spent over the last 10 to 12 years on village beautification

• $84,000 in interest on a $375,000 loan for landscaping the intersection of Burr Ridge Parkway and County Line Road

• $7 million to $8 million for a police station whose need was questionable

• $500,000 to renovate Village Hall when a new roof and new carpet and wallpaper in the board room would have been adequate

• nearly $68,000 in 2013 for summer concerts

• $44,360 just for gateway/median maintenance in the fiscal year 2013/14 budget.

I recently spoke with a La Grange official to learn how they handle the leaf problem. La Grange’s population is about 15,550 (41.4 percent more than Burr Ridge, with 53 street miles) and has provided curbside leaf pickup service for at least 20 years free to residents and several times during the peak fall season. Village cost is $45,000 for disposal that the village contracts. The leaves can only be dumped in an EPA approved site, not in a landfill. Curbside pickup is part of the Public Works job specs. Feedback from the residents is the service is extremely popular.

When Stricker says Burr Ridge can’t afford it, “Are you kiddin’ me?”

Dolores Cizek

La Grange

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