Well, fellow Foley citizens, we have turned the corner into 2021. With all the challenges of 2020, a new year is most welcome. I would like to compliment everyone on how we, as a city, persevered during the global pandemic, hurricanes and even the elections of 2020. We send our thoughts and prayers to those who’ve lost family and friends in this pandemic. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated when there is an opportunity, because from my and my wife, Jo’s, experience, having COVID-19 is nothing to take a chance on.
Although cleanup from Hurricane Sally continues, the city debris contractor has completed their task. Overall, we collected almost 900,000 cubic yards of debris and construction material. Hurricane Sally costs exceeded $11 million for our city. The Public Works Department will continue with storm-related work until everything within the city limits is back to normal. I ask for your patience, as the city, like other businesses, also has COVID-19–related issues. Also, everyday priorities such as garbage collection take precedent over debris pickup. We will get it all collected. Our goal is to return to normal by spring.
Please remember Arbor Day. For the 40th consecutive year, Foley has been named a Tree City. This year, it highlights the need to begin replacing those fallen trees. It was estimated that the city lost almost 50 percent of the tree canopy. One of the ways that you can help with restoration efforts to keep our city beautiful is to replant trees or help a neighbor clean up storm debris.