Vornlocker: Debris Pickup ‘Went Well,’ Final Cost To Be Determined

The pickup of household items damaged and destroyed by Tropical Storm Ida “went very well,” Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said. (File photo.)

The pickup of household items destroyed and damaged by Tropical Storm Ida concluded in the morning of September 28, but its final cost won’t be known for several weeks.

That’s because the debris that was collected over the previous two weeks and taken to a temporary dump in Hillsborough has yet to be moved to its final resting place, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said.

“The second phase of the project is not complete, that is the hauling of the debris from the temporary debris management area in Hillsborough to transfer stations,” Vornlocker wrote in an email. “Final costs will not be determined until that process is complete, which will be several weeks.”

“Overall the project went very well,” he wrote.

The Township Council on September 14 approved an $800,000 emergency appropriation for cleanup and other costs associated with the tropical storm that blew through Franklin at the beginning of the month.

At the same meeting, the Council awarded more than $290,000 in contracts to two Florida-based companies, Ash Britt and Tetra Tech, to do the pickups and federally mandated monitoring, respectively.

The monitor was necessary to ensure that only eligible material was picked up, and to not jeopardize the up to 75 percent cost reimbursement for the Township.

The Township and Somerset County jointly operate the Hillsborough dumping area on Roycebrook Road, and split its costs, which was estimated to cost the Township $20,000.

During the September 28 Township Council meeting, Vornlocker said that 8,285 cubic yards of debris had been collected from about 1,500 properties in the township.

“That works out to about 5 cubic yards per property,” he said. “Some had much more, some had much less. The largest day was 1,189 cubic yards. I believe that day was the day Somerset Glen was collected.”

Vornlocker, who said he assumed the role of project manager for the pickup, said he did not believe that any property was missed.

“We used some advanced mapping, and communication between myself and those in the field was very, very good,” he said.

“This project was intended to last two weeks, and it lasted 15 days,” Vornlocker said. “There will be some minor pickup tomorrow (September 29), most of that will be handled by the Public Works Department.”

Vornlocker said the township budgeted for 9,500 cubic yards, and “we’ll probably get to 8,500 cubic yards when all is said and done.”

“We stuck to our two weeks,” he said. “I think we got about everything covered.”

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