The city of Leavenworth is discontinuing its annual leaf pick-up program.

The city of Leavenworth is discontinuing its annual leaf pick-up program.

City commissioners reached a consensus Tuesday to not continue with the program this year.

In the past, city officials have offered curbside pick-up of raked leaves during the fall. City crews have been offering the service to only half of the city each year, alternating each year between the northern half and southern half of Leavenworth.

City officials had been planning to purchase a new machine for the program this year.

Commissioners discussed the program Tuesday after Mayor Jermaine Wilson had requested to revisit the issue during a study session. Wilson recommended discontinuing the program Tuesday.

Wilson said the program is difficult to manage because of issues related to the weather.

Wilson said he has received complaints from people who could not get their leaves raked to the curb in time to benefit from the program because of the weather.

The mayor also noted that the program serves only half of the city each year.

Wilson said he believes the program has run its course.

Commissioner Larry Dedeke said he disagreed with the mayor.

He said the program initially covered the entire city each year. But officials elected to start doing only half of the city each year to cut down on the workload.

Dedeke said residents seemed to have adapted to the change.

He argued older residents may benefit from the program. He said the program also cuts down on the leaves that end up in the city’s storm sewer system.

City Manager Paul Kramer said city crews have had great years in terms of picking up leaves, and they have had some bad years.

“It really is weather dependent,” he said.

He said 2018 was a “particularly bad year” for the program.

Commissioner Mark Preisinger said he thinks it is a good program but it is impossible to manage it to people’s expectations.

He said the program is not like the city’s trash service, which has a regular pick-up schedule. He said residents do not know exactly when their leaves will be picked up.

Preisinger said the program also utilizes city crews who could be working on street maintenance.

“So we take away from that,” he said.

Preisinger noted that even with the program, residents still have to rake their leaves to the curb.

If people can do this, they probably can bag the leaves if the pick-up program is no longer available, he said.

A majority of commissioners reached a consensus in favor of discontinuing the program. Commissioner Nancy Bauder had to leave the meeting early and was not present for the discussion.

Leavenworth Public Works Director Mike McDonald said residents have other options for disposing of leaves. The city’s Brush Site accepts leaves and grass clippings free of charge. City residents also can bag leaves and leave them out for regular trash collection.

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