Grand Blanc council considers changes to leaf collection service

GRAND BLANC — The Grand Blanc City Council is reaching out for guidance from the community as they face some decisions about leaf collection.

Weird weather the last few years has created problems with getting the leaves collected in a timely manner, according to City Manager Wendy Jean-Buhrer.

“Every year, it truly is a guessing game, because the weather can be so fickle,” Jean-Buhrer said. “One year, the leaves didn’t even fall until the first week in December, but we can’t take leaves past November 30. “Last year, we had an early snowfall. The snow and rain really jam up the machine. Then, you have further problems with the machine breaking down. So, we’re not able to use it when those weather events happen, and the leaves stay outside even longer and it ends up being a mess.”

Before COVID-19 hit, the council was looking into investing about $130,000 in two new machines. However, there is some concern about whether the financial impact of the coronavirus will warrant such an expenditure.

“COVID is really the big uncertainty for local governments,” Jean-Buhrer said. “Are we going to have another recession like the 2008 recession? We don’t know.”

The City Council is very much aware that many residents like that they can rake their leaves to the curb and the city will come by and vacuum them up.

“It’s always been a nice amenity of the area, and not one that individuals are taxed for,” Jean-Buhrer said. “This service is paid out of general fund.”

So, what the City Council wants to know is whether the residents want to continue the service and, if so, would they be willing to pay a little for it.

City residents will receive notices explaining the situation and asking for feedback in their next newsletters and with their water and tax bills. Residents may weigh in by sending an email to Also, keep an eye on the city’s website as there may be a quick survey posted later.