MT. VERNON — The City Council has committed itself to develop alternative ways to dispose of leaf and landscape waste.
During its meeting Monday, the council approved a resolution to develop a plan for consideration and potential implementation by April 30, 2014.
"We talked two years ago about looking into this," said Councilman David Wood. "Each year when the leaves start to be burnt there are numerous problems. ... All the resolution does is ask that we look into the issue."
Wood said the April 30 date was presented in the resolution as it will be prior to the new budget year and at a time when the waste disposal contract will be up for renegotiated.
According to the resolution, a large number of residents burn leaves and landscape waste and create a large amount of smoke, which can be detrimental to the the health and welfare of citizens.
"Whereas the mayor and city council of the City of Mt. Vernon desires to eliminate the health and safety threats posed to its citizens by the burning of leaves and landscape waste, and whereas the improper disposal of leaves and landscape waste blocks storm water drain systems causing damage to property and increase cost to the city ... we shall support, investigate and develop alternative methods of leaf and landscape waste disposal to the benefit of the citizens of Mt. Vernon for consideration and potential implementation by April 30, 2014."
Safety of citizens was also on the mind of resident Keisha Johnson, who voiced her concerns over recent shootings reported in the city. Most recently, a church in the 1300 block of South Ninth Street reported to police of damage caused to the building related to the discharge of weapons and at 1:13 a.m. Sunday morning, numerous callers to police reported hearing gunshots in the area of the 1000 block of South 25th Street.