Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin issued a local state of disaster for Cedar Park on Feb. 1 after Winter Storm Mara swept through Central Texas Jan. 31-Feb. 2 leaving residents with several downed trees and extensive property damage.
The disaster declaration was first extended Feb. 9. It is being extended again because of the prolonged period of storm cleanup that is expected to take even longer, according to the city.
Because of the additional time and resources needed to clear the storm debris in Cedar Park, a contract with T.F.R. Enterprises Inc. for an additional $800,000 was greenlighted. It will include the general brush cleanup services, plus off-site disposal.
The original contract, which included brush chipping, hauling and regular tree maintenance throughout the city, was worth $500,000. This contract was approved by council on Feb. 9.
The total contract agreement will now cost $1.8 million, and it will be funded through the city's budget, officials said.
City staff also provided an update on residential tree collection and storm cleanup at the March 9 meeting.
Residential curbside tree pickup is 75% completed, Director of Community Affairs Fran Irwin said at the meeting. The crews are still working to finish the remaining areas.
“To the residents that [are] in that 20%[-25%], hold on; we're coming,” she said. “We’re going to get that cleared and be back to a beautiful city soon.”
Irwin said residential curbside collection for storm-related tree debris has been ongoing since Feb. 13. There are up to 24 crews working from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily to complete pickups, according to the city.
So far, the city has collected 195,540 cubic yards of tree debris. By the time pickup is completed, staff estimates the city will have collected 300,000 cubic yards of tree debris.
A timeline of when the residential curbside collection will be fully completed was not presented at the meeting.
“It’s a very serious thing,” Council Member Mel Kirkland said. “But I think the city has done a wonderful job so far.”
Click here for more information on storm cleanup efforts in Cedar Park.