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Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert asked for patience as his department and others in the city received considerable praise at this week's city council meeting for their cleanup efforts in the wake of last week's storm. Gilbert said the city workers were in the process of making one "pass" through the city, and when that is completed, a second one will be made for the smaller cleanup tasks.
There are only so many workers, of course, for an effort that has been a major one. Compounding the problem was the Fourth holiday, which means no work was done on that day and the following day would require a double run on trash collection, picking up both Wednesday's and Thursday's items.
"It just gonna take time," Gilbert said, estimating the rest of this week and next would likely be needed.
"But they'll get it done; they've really done an outstanding job," Mayor John Schultz said.
Several officials offered plaudits for the cleanup work, including Police Chief Kenny Ketzler, who noted that the quick opening of streets allowed his department to get to the numerous calls that flooded the department in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
Local residents came in for good words, too.
Gilbert told this newspaper on Monday, "It's just phenomenal the way the public has helped. We'd no more than get a tree off a car then we'd hear chain saws, people cleaning stuff up after us. Really, it's just been amazing the way people have responded and helped out."
Water Superintendent Jim Inskeep said at the council meeting that he had talked with a utility repair crew which had come here from Traverse City, Michigan, "and they were overwhelmed with the hospitality Decatur showed them."