Telford to is­sue let­ters about tree trim­ming

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Celona

The trees in Telford have be­come a safety haz­ard, and the bor­ough is tak­ing steps to en­sure res­i­dents keep their prop­er­ties prop­erly trimmed.

Pub­lic works Di­rec­tor Don­ald Beck in­formed coun­cil he has found nearly 200 prop­er­ties that are in vi­o­la­tion of the bor­ough’s tree trim­ming or­di­nance dur­ing Telford Bor­ough Coun­cil’s Aug. 6 meet­ing.

In sev­eral ar­eas, trees hang over the side­walk, forc­ing peo­ple walk­ing or jog­ging on the side­walks to have to go out onto the street, Beck said. Ad­di­tion­ally, the hang­ing limbs can in­ter­fere with pub­lic works ef­forts, no­tably the up­com­ing oil and chip sur­face treat­ment on sev­eral bor­ough streets, ac­cord­ing to Beck.

“This has al­ways been a sit­u­a­tion where to get peo­ple to co­op­er­ate is tough,” he said.

In an ef­fort to have res­i­dents co­op­er­ate, coun­cil ap­proved a let­ter for bor­ough staff to send out to

prop­erty own­ers who are in vi­o­la­tion of the or­di­nance.

“This is es­sen­tially a way for us to get out the mes­sage,” Bor­ough Man­ager Mark Fournier said.

“We’re try­ing to make sure our stop signs are vis­i­ble all along the street the way they need to be,” he said, not­ing some trees also block speed limit signs.

The let­ters, which will be sent out soon, give RHVLGHQWV D fiRVW QRWLFH DQG in­clude a copy of the bor­ough’s or­di­nance, ac­cord­ing to Fournier. If prop­erty own­ers still do not come into com­pli­ance, they will re­ceive a sec­ond notice, fol­lowed by a ci­ta­tion.

If prop­erty own­ers do not com­ply, the bor­ough can per­form the tree trim­ming and then charge the owner the cost of do­ing so plus 10 SHRFHQW, ZLWK D fiQH DGGHG for each day the amount is not paid, ac­cord­ing to Beck.

The Barn­side Mulch and Com­post fa­cil­ity in Sch­wenksville is the des­ig­nated place for bor­ough res­i­dents to dis­pose of tree trim­mings, ac­cord­ing to ERRRUJK RI­fiFLDOV.

Mayor Jay Stover sug­gested since there will be so many peo­ple who have to trim their trees, it might be good pub­lic re­la­tions to sched­ule a tree waste pickup day, not­ing he feels many res­i­dents do not know about the com­post­ing fa­cil­ity, while el­derly res­i­dents may not be able to trans­port the tree trim­ming them­selves.

Fournier said it would cost the bor­ough money to haul the trim­mings away when dis­posal is a home­owner’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. He sug­gested see­ing what re­sponse the bor­ough staff re­ceives and hav­ing the coun­cil’s pub­lic works com­mit­tee look into the pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting a Dump­ster to col­lect tree trim­mings.

Also on the topic of over­grown veg­e­ta­tion, coun­cil again dis­cussed a prop­erty many have deemed an eye­sore but which bor­ough code pro­vides no means to reg­u­late.

Po­lice Chief Ran­dall Floyd brought up the prop­erty at 112 S. Main St., which has been the sub­ject of many res­i­dent com­plaints be­cause of its ex­tremely high grass.

At the June coun­cil meet­ing, Floyd said he had cited the prop­erty sev­eral times, but the prop­erty owner re­fused to mow the grass. In fact, the owner main­tained the prop­erty has been cer­ti­fiHG DV D ZLOGOLIH KDELWDW Ey the Na­tional Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion.

Floyd re­ported he has looked fur­ther into the mat­ter and dis­cov­ered the prop­erty is not in vi­o­la­tion of the bor­ough’s reg­u­la­tions.

“I don’t like it. It’s cer­tainly not my choice of yard,” he said. “Ac­cord­ing to our or­di­nance, it’s not in vi­o­la­tion.”

Floyd said he spoke with ERWK WKH fiRH PDRVKDO DQG WKH fiRH FKLHI, ZKR ERWK VDLG the prop­erty is not a safety haz­ard.

“It’s on Main Street. It’s vis­i­ble. It’s in the front. But it’s not in vi­o­la­tion of the or­di­nances,” Fournier said. “It’s an aes­thet­ics is­sue.”

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