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Williamsport brush pile open, automation arriving soon

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

In just days, the residents of the city will start to rake up the debris in their yards, small twigs, brush and other materials as they prepare their properties for the spring renewal.

As such, city residents need to have access to the city brush pile, 1500 W. Third St., which is open most days but a planned automatic gate is not yet ready, city officials said.

Christopher Cooley, of city information technology, said the opener is in place at the site at 1500 W. Third St.

“It was put there in December,” he said.

COVID-19 supply chain issues have delayed other parts from arriving.

“We are waiting for one component for the access control the card swipe system,” Cooley said.

“It is incredibly difficult to get technology parts,” he said. “I spoke to the company in February,” he said. The component can be installed after the fact and the system will work. It is a piece of plastic between the card reader and stand.

Dump trucks will be fitted with cards that will read the system, he said.

“You need the piece of plastic so you don’t turn the system into an antenna,” Cooley said. “We hope to add the component as soon as it is available.”

The automatic system is designed to stop illegal dumping.

“New video surveillance equipment has been ordered,” Cooley said. “Again,” he added, “the supply chain is limited at this point and cameras are not available.”

“The goal is to have it ready and operating by mid-March,” Cooley said.

The city residents are going to start to clear up their yards after winds knock down branches and twigs. The yard debris cleanup ties into the spring and eventually goes through Earth Day cleanup.

Councilwoman Bonnie Katz, chairwoman of the city public works committee, was hopeful once the system is in place a news release will be published and cards will be stocked and available for residents.

The cards are similar in technology to what the city uses for identifying employees.

“I find it amazing because of COVID, there are so many snags at this point in getting product in,” Katz said. As a businesswoman herself, Katz has experienced the trickle down effect the virus has had.

Meanwhile, the brush pile gate is open for users until the component is put in.

“It’s been a bear to open and close with the system,” said Adam Winder, acting general manager of public works (streets and parks).

The brush pile is open 7:15 to 3:15 Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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