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City Cleanup

Date posted - May 14, 2013

As I drive the streets of Sheldon and still see plenty of piles of branches along the curbsides I wonder why have they not been cleaned up yet? We all realize it takes time to get them all picked up, however mine and many others are still laying in a pile on the curb and all of my neighbors have been picked up. Is there a certain schedule or route the city is following in order to continue the process of tree limb clean up or are we expected to get them to the tree dump ourselves?


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31 Responses to “City Cleanup”

  1. resident says:

    The city is picking it up as a favor and a service to the community. Yes it is going to take time. I don’t know of any particular route but if you are impatient nobody is stopping you from taking it away yourself. . I am just grateful they took on the task

    • harly says:

      They didn’t take on the task they are paid to do so. This is our tax dollars at work for a good thing for once. I would like to know why is it that they decide to only pick up certain peoples tree limbs and not others? All of the houses around us and even across the street has had theirs picked up, but they leave ours. Is it a case of who you know or what?

      • Citizen says:

        They start at one side of town and work their way through. I would imagine that they will make an additional swing through town when they are done. Stop your complaining! I commend them for the job they have done in cleaning up the ice storm damage, they have been running 2 crews for several weeks. They were hauling branches in snow, rain and ice while you sat in your nice warm house, take your own branches to the tree dump or shut your mouth!

        • wow says:

          they get paid overtime if they put in the hours. it’s part of their job to do things like this from time to time. i agree that they are doing a good job. people forget that “junk weekends” happened in the middle of the branch pick up, which took some time away as well. do people in small towns have nothing better to do than bitch about everything?

        • Rainbow says:

          I agree, well said!
          Maybe instead of complaining, people should be thanking our City Crews. The city could have choose for each address to do their own removal, but they did not, they go past our home to tree dump and may I say, they have been hauling a amazing amount. SO SAY THANK YOU for efforts to clean up our community. A job well done!

  2. Resident says:

    My feeling is that the city is doing this as a favor to you……..a FREE favor. You need to realize that the street guys have more on their job list then just picking up your branches. If your not happy with your free service do it yourself.

  3. harly says:

    free where do you get free???????/ I pay city, state, and federal taxes. So it is not free.

  4. harly says:

    One other comment did you have any branches down yourself and if so did the city pick them up for you?

    • Resident says:

      I actually didn’t have the city pick up my branches. I went out, cut them and made fire wood. And yes it may be our tax dollars but it is not the only job they have to do. Our street guys have their own day to day tasked they have to complete, they can’t just drop everything and pick up trees non stop.

  5. resident says:

    Just so you know, we are 2 different people posting. One with a capital R.

    It is a private property concern. Your trees, your property, your problem. Had it been a hail storm you wouldn’t expect the city to pay for your roof! Your tax dollars have nothing to do with it. As for it being about who you know, what is the chances they truck was full and needed to be dumped? Or it was the end of the day and they decided to start again on a fuller street.? Stop being so paranoid. Take the limbs away yourself if you aren’t happy. My guess is once the bulk of the limbs are picked up they will go through and get the remaining houses.
    Yes they are offering this to you as a free service. Your branches from your trees on your property are not the city’s problem. Yet they are picking them up.
    As for my house? No I didn’t have a single branch down, you see I was special the ice storm decided to hit every single house around me. I had 85 degree weather and was sipping a margarita being fanned by a cabana boy watching the ice storm hit my neighbors.

    • HA What? says:

      Are the trees that are between the sidewalk and the street not the Citys property?

      • resident says:

        No. Is the mail box you put there? The flowers you planted? The driveway you poured across it?

        • HA What? says:

          That would make Sheldon very unusual!
          In most towns those trees belong to the city.

          • Jon says:

            That’s just not true. You own the entirety of your property to the curb. In certain areas of town, the sidewalks were set back from the street so that trees could be planted between the sidewalk and street. This allows for tree-lined streets to develop. You have to mow the grass between the sidewalk and the curb…the city doesn’t do that for you. This seems to me to be an individual responsibility issue more than anything else. Yes, you clean up your private property. The city actually doesn’t HAVE to do ANYTHING to help you, but it is in the interest of the community and even the city government to ensure that services are available so that clean-up is undertaken in a timely manner.

    • EDH says:

      When the city tells the citizens that they can put the trees by the curb in 3 to 4 days then it BECOMES the cities problem. It is comments and attitudes like this that make other cities WAY more appealing then Sheldon.

      Sioux Center, Rock Valley, etc. did all they had to do to get the entire city cleaned up in 4 days or less.

      I don’t understand why people act like this is charity work. Cities have budgets for this.

      • resident says:

        I drive through other towns daily, they are not cleaned up. If other towns are more appealing, hey it is a free country. This is a free service the city is providing they didn’t have to. If you aren’t happy with it, remove your own debris . Simple, problem solved.

        • Old wrestler says:

          Just out of curiousity what other towns are you seeing that aren’t cleaned up?

          • resident says:

            I drive to Sioux falls on a regular basis. Sioux falls itself is still working on it along with the small towns between here and there.

  6. Old wrestler says:

    I have talked to people from other towns and their city crews seemed to get it done without help and still complete their other tasks.

  7. Concerned Citizen says:

    Now I am not all that sure the person that started this is really complaining or just asking a question. I am sure there was a route that they tried to follow and I am sure they are not going to go around and do it again. If you still have stuff at your curb, I would suggest getting moved yourself. What really got me was the people that took advantage of this disaster. I’ve seen shrubs, hedges, and massive tree trimming that had nothing to do with the ice storm get piled up at the curb. It was not bad enough the mess that had to be cleaned up but some feel that they can literally just pile on. If you want to get an idea of just how bad this ice storm was drive out to the tree dump and see how much is out there. That will put things in perspective for you.

    • resident says:

      He or she is asking if it is a case of who you know and saying they pay taxes to clean up private property, I’d say its complaining.

  8. JCS says:

    I can’t imagine our director of city streets telling fellow employees to pick up certain
    residences and not others. Who do think this is, the IRS? On a more serious note maybe
    a phone call to the city office would be in order.

  9. Pete says:

    All the bickering and our neighbors to the west volunteered and did it one day.

  10. news knowledge says:

    With all of the discussions about cost of tree/branch removal above & whether this is done for free etc….it makes me wonder how many of our readers know or understand what it means to be “declared a disaster” county by the governor of our state?? Whether O’Brien County seeks the additional funding that is allowed for a declared disaster area is the key here. Many other areas bring in additional work sources to speed up the removal after a “declared disaster” & use funding given for that. The funding still all falls back on the tax payers of Iowa, therefore, each individual property owner (if employed) IS paying for this removal.

  11. news knowledge says:

    President Declares Disaster for Iowa
    Main Content
    Release date:
    May 6, 2013
    Release Number:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Iowa to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm during the period of April 9-11, 2013.

    The President’s action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of buildings and equipment damaged by the severe winter storm in Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties.

    Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

    Joe M. Girot has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Girot said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

    Follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at

    • pev says:

      Pretty much say’s it all right there!!!

    • resident says:

      Federal Aid Programs for the State of Iowa Declaration

      Main ContentRelease date: MAY 6, 2013Release Number: HQ-13-042FactsheetFollowing is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Iowa.Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by the state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)How to Apply for Assistance:Application procedures for the state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

  12. Harriet Oleson says:

    Back in Walnut Grove when we had a storm come through we pretty much cleaned everything up by ourselves – sometimes Mr. Edwards, Pa Ingalls and some of the school children would help out after classes were done for the day (Unless they were gone to Mpls for the state basketball tourney). We didn’t expect the city workers of Walnut Grove to do it for us (of course there were no city employees). We relied on ourselves to get things done – of course that was before the New Deal and entitlement programs……

  13. Randy says:

    Ah yeah. Nothing like venomously complaining about a service that the city is not required to do, but is doing anyway.

    • ResidenT says:

      They just picked up the branches at my house a couple days ago so we can now officially put this issue/thread to rest since it no longer affects me. Thank you city workers for your hard work and effort. It truly is appreciated despite everything you read here.

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