Leaf pickup in St. Joseph County promises to be twice as good this fall after commissioners amended the county's current contract with Greenworld.
In August 2013, the St. Joseph County Commission unanimously approved private contractor, Greenworld, for curbside leaf pickups for households within the city limits of Mishawaka and South Bend, as well as neighboring townships.
Greenworld was the only company that applied when the Commission opened itself to bids in the spring of 2013.
As with any new service, there were some hiccups.
Several neighborhoods in St. Joseph County's northern townships like Clay, Harris and German, complained that they received only one or none of the two promised pick ups in the fall.
The Bowercrest Subdivision in Clay Township is one of the areas that didn't have their leaves cleaned up until the spring of 2014.
"We only had on leaf pickup," said Robyn Harber, a resident of Bowercrest.
"I'm all for having someone come and pickup my leaves so I don't have to make those arrangements," Harber explained, "So if they're able to do what they say they're going to do, then that would be outstanding."
This past winter snow blanketed the piles of leaves left in the subdivision, creating hazards for passing cars and snow plows. When the snow finally melted, Harber said they were left with wet, compacted and decayed leaves.
St. Joseph County Commissioner Andrew Kostienley said things will improve for the fall of 2014.
"We had lots of concerns raised. The weather didn't help, so what we did was listen to all the feedback that we got and made significant changes," said Kostielnley.
Tuesday, August 27, the Commission added an addendum to it's current contract with Greenworld which specifies the the company must do three pickups in the fall and one in the spring: two more pickups than last year.
Greenworld will receive roughly the same $950,000 payment this year as it did last. However, it will receive around 20-percent up front and receive the remainder after crews have completed the three fall cleanups.
The order in which leaf pickups will be conducted is scheduled to change.
Instead of picking up the less populated areas first, Kostienley said the new contract specifies that denser townships such as Clay, Harris and German will be at the top of the list.
Kostielney said the Commission reorganized the pickup plan instead of seeking a new service because it made a two year commitment to Greenworld. Each year, Kostielney said they can amend and modify the contract if financial circumstances change.