File photo: Peter Blasl

To the Editor:

The first leaves of autumn are not far away, yet the Town of Riverhead still has not officially informed the residents if curbside pickup of loose leaves is gone forever. It certainly appears that way after last year’s volley between the supervisor’s office and highway department.

The 2020 pickup seemed destined to be the last, with money to collect and a final resting place for the leaves becoming the central issues. Highway wanted $250,000 to continue the pickups, the town balked but at the last minute the pickups were made because it was deemed too late to notify the residents that the service was being discontinued.

And that’s where the situation stands now. Calls and emails to the supervisor’s office do not yield any responses as to what might replace the pickups this fall. Without any notification either way, residents are likely to assume the pickups are still happening and will soon begin to flood residential streets with leaves. That will create safety and environmental issues.

It seems obvious that the current supervisor does not want to address this issue in an election year, preferring to lay the blame at the doorstep of the highway department. It will cost already over-taxed residents several hundred dollars to hire landscapers to clear the leaves that were always part of a budget we all pay for in town taxes.

The supervisor seems content to leave it at that.

Steven Marcus
Wading River

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