BG trims back tree ordinance PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 11:05
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Bowling Green City Council Monday night unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance that would have given the city additional power regarding tree trimming on private property. Fourth Ward rep Robert Piasecki was absent.
The proposal, which grew out of a series of Community Improvement Committee meetings that focused on concerns of east side neighborhood issues, was tabled Sept. 3 after receiving its third reading.
Council President and Second Ward rep John Zanfardino had been a proponent of the legislation.
Zanfardino said a "ride around" with City Arborist David Bienemann was beneficial for him to understand the problems. "I was amazed at the work you do. I was ignorant of it," Zanfardino said. "You probably take care of 90 percent of the trees in town."
Bienemann told council that he already becomes involved with property owners who contact him about trees on private property. "Today I had a call about tree on private property. I contacted the out-of-town owner and the problem was handled by the end of the day. I probably have 25 or 30 calls a year where I am told of a problem. It is awareness on the part of the property owner. In nine and one-half years I have not had any dispute that has not been eventually resolved without anyone going to court," Bienemann said.
Bienemann said a lot of the problems can be solved by just getting property owners talking. "Things have generally been solved cordially."
Council was told the proposed ordinance had the potential to increase monetary and legal liability for the city. Both Bienamann and City Attorney Michael Marsh said taking down trees can be expensive and could reach $15,000 if a general contractor had to be hired, along with a large crane rental and other equipment.
At-Large rep Bruce Jeffers said he found it interesting the second law passed by the city in 1866 was one outlawing hitching of horses to shade trees and the fourth law passed was one requiring residents to plant shade trees.
Council also:
• Heard an update on how House Bill 5, which would standardize local tax laws across the state, could affect city revenues and costs to collect city taxes.
• Learned city offices will close at 1 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31. Municipal Administrator John Fawcett said city employees will have to use vacation time or adjust their schedules to work the proper number of hours those weeks.
• Heard that bids will be opened Dec. 10 for the Poe-Haskins intersection rebuild. The work will start in the spring, with completion during the summer.
 

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