Owning a pickup truck earned Pittsburg resident Jason Grotheer a job hauling downed branches to the city’s burn site on a mild Friday morning.
He, along with many others, brought truckloads full of limbs to the site and he said the hauling was on behalf of himself and several family members who had some damage from last week’s winter storm.
"This is really good that they opened this up," Grotheer said. "We didn’t have a ton of damage, but we had a little bit."
He said some of the trees had been covered in ivy that collected a great deal of ice in the storm and added more weight than the trees could hold.
"It just peeled the whole tree down," he said.
Grotheer also had a cedar tree that suffered from the storm.
"This was a healthy cedar tree," he said as he held up the branch. "It just couldn’t stand the weight."
Every time a significant storm blows through, whether it be thunderstorm winds, freezing rain or other types of systems, branches come down all across town and they have to go somewhere.
Kim Vogel, director of Pittsburg Parks and Recreation, said the city’s burn site, on the north side of Quincy approximately 1.5 miles east of Rouse, will be open for extra hours during the next few weeks as the City of Pittsburg cleans up the sticks left after the storm.
The site may only be used for trees and branches - no leaves, trash or other items may be left there - so that the city can keep its license for the site.
However, the extra hours allows those who are able to haul their own sticks to get them where they need to go and takes part of the load off of the city’s departments.
"That helps the citizens as well as helping us," Vogel said.
The city also has been busy in the wake of the ice storm.
"We spent the first part of the week cleaning where we pushed (sticks) off," Vogel said.
"We will have the burn site open again next week except for New Year’s Day," she said, adding that it will be open from 8 am. to 3 p.m. those days.
The burn site also will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 11 for its regular hours, contingent on weather.
The city also will pick up limbs around town the following week.
"On Jan. 6 we’ll start sweeping the city for curbs," Vogel said. "Everything needs to be out on the sixth. We’re going to sweep the whole city."
Vogel added that the entire city will be canvassed for limbs on individual curbs, but that once an area has been cleaned crews will not return to that location.
In order to have sticks picked up they must be cut into six-foot sections or shorter.
She said the situation is nothing new for the city.
"It’s probably not going to be much different than most of our cleanups when we have cleanups like this," Vogel said.
However, Grotheer said the city making the burn site available quickly is a much-appreciated opportunity.
"I appreciate the city opening it now," he said. "Generally we would have had to wait until the second weekend. It really is a nice deal."