The Roeland Park City Council will vote at its Aug. 17 meeting on a pilot program that would add a spring pickup to the 2016 leaf pickup schedule.
Each year, Roeland Park provides six weeks of leaf pickup for residents in the fall. After receiving some feedback from residents and at the request of staff, Public Works Director Jose Leon put together a proposal to split up the weeks. His suggestion is to add two weeks of pickup in March 2016, leaving the four remaining weeks in November through December 2016.
“I think this would be a popular program with residents,” Leon said.
Leon listed several benefits, including an additional opportunity for residents to clean up remaining fall 2015 leaves; a later start for the 2016 fall pickup, which would allow more leaves to fall first; and a third pickup for Roe Boulevard, which has had only two pickups in the past.
He also noted some disadvantages, including spring weather affecting the routes, the two weeks devoted to leaf pickup would take away from time spent in park and road maintenance, and wet leaves could potentially be more taxing on the equipment.
The only additional cost Leon could foresee was paying public works staff for working an additional Saturday in March.
Overall, the council spoke favorably of the program if it is implemented with plenty of public notice and education.
Councilwoman Becky Fast said she would like for staff to investigate the cost of sending a postcard or a insert in the city newsletter to spread the word about a spring pickup. Other council members suggested a robocall and emailing constituents who have an email address on file.
Council members Sheri McNeil and Ryan Kellerman supported an element of education focusing on the benefits of mowing leaves and using them as a mulch for your lawn.