Picking up leaves takes center stage in Bermuda Run: Trees also impact sidewalks and street maintenance program in town

Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 23, 2023

By Jim Buice

For the Clemmons Courier

Yes, the leaves are falling, and that means they must be picked up.
Starting in the public comments and then being part of the manager’s report, leaves became the dominant topic in last Tuesday night’s Bermuda Run Town Council meeting.

First, Bobbie Thacker, who lives at 133 Bermuda Run Drive North, approached the podium to tell the council that her “biggest concern right now is our leaf removal.”

Town Manager Andrew Meadwell had several items on his list to discuss, including picking up the leaves.

“I appreciate Ms. Thacker’s comment, and I will definitely look into this to see what’s going on,” Meadwell said. “I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder. I’ve heard positive comments on leaf pickup. I’ve heard a few negative. I will say that we started about two weeks before our official pickup date and are extending to the middle of January for leaf pickup.

“This is the first year that we went to a more scheduled pickup. It’s not perfect, but overall, we’re doing a good job and a lot better than previous years were. I think that’s what I’m looking at is seeing improvement there.”

Thacker had asked if the contractor, which is Land Tek, was equipped to do the work and that she had only seen one small truck. Meadwell said that, for the most part, he has been pleased with the work done by the contractor, adding the company has two trucks and another truck with a trailer.

Meadwell also added if the town needed to consider Saturday leaf pickup, those discussions have already been happening.

“Look at the trees,” he said. “We still have a lot of leaves on some of them. We know there is a lot of demand in the coming weeks as well, and we have the ability to be flexible.”

Mayor Rick Cross said if the town can either extend hours during these peak periods or go to Saturday, it might make sense as the leaves are going “to stop at some point.”

Mayor-Elect Mike Brannon said he had heard two issues — the general cadence of the leaf pickup, which he said is going to be a challenge no matter wherever it is, “but what I heard was not the cadence but the skipping. I think we need to make sure no one gets skipped.

“I doubt there is a municipality anywhere in this area that doesn’t have a set of residents concerned about their leaves not getting picked up. It’s the nature of the beast this time of year, and it’s peaks and valleys, and they’re coming down by the hour, so it’s awfully hard to stay on top of it.”
Council member Curtis Capps capped off the conversation with this: “Plus, the trees are getting bigger every year.”

Also, in last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council heard from Meadwell in the manager’s report regarding the sidewalks and street maintenance program, which has a five-year assessment plan in place with $50,000 set aside each year for maintenance, needing additional analysis with a new council coming in to address a long-term approach with a more significant financial commitment.

Mayor Rick Cross said that he, Meadwell and Brannon have had conversations about the matter and were planning to meet with the Kinderton Village Homeowners Association to talk in more detail.

“The costs can stay the same, but the trees continue to get larger and push up the sidewalks at a more rapid pace and a more significant level, and something’s got to give,” Cross said. “So rather than try to continue to do the same thing over the next couple of years and really getting all the stakeholders in and having that discussion will be productive — and then applying some of the expertise from the engineering folks.”

Meadwell also provided an update on the interconnection with the Blue Heron Trail and the Bert’s Way Pedestrian Bridge.

“I’ve had some very positive conversations with those property owners,” he said. “I think we have a very cost-effective plan to get that open. I talked with our surveyors, and they’re going to be starting work on that to kind of lay that out, as well as some contractors to give us some ideas on cost. So I think we’re on our way to having a very well laid-out plan to get that interconnection to the pedestrian bridge as well as across I-40 there on ideas on how we can work together.

“I think really the message is that people are walking the trail, they’re going through the tunnel, they’re walking through Kinderton through the back side where RISE is, down through Twins Way and coming back around. It’s a natural loop. People are getting accustomed to it. So we need to take advantage of that and provide those necessary pathways.”

Cross then interjected, “To be clear, we’re talking about a low-cost, high-impact solution that is relatively temporary in nature to allow for anything that the property owners are saying, if we’re going to develop that, then we will replace that with a permanent path.”

In other highlights from last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:

  • Called for a public hearing in the Jan. 9, 2024, meeting on a text amendment to reduce the maximum building height to 45 feet for multifamily, remove multifamily from the General Business Zoning District, amend a table to include residential, townhouse as a permitted use with conditions and removing Open Space Residential and General Business. The Planning Board voted unanimously in its October meeting to approve the request with changes.
  • Approved a resolution to direct the town clerk to investigate a petition for a contiguous and a noncontiguous annexation of property described as Davie County tax parcels D70000021101,
    D70000021102 and D700000201 and referenced as the “Potts Property” and also set a public hearing in the Jan. 9, 2024, meeting.