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Opinions differ about responsibility for trees

John Lowe The New Concord Leader Published: September 11, 2013 10:49 AM

NEW CONCORD — A citizen of the village wants council to decide who has liability for and control over the fate of trees in the tree lines along village streets.

The citizen expressed concern about some tree-line trees in front of her residence.

She said her insurance company has told her that the trees are unsafe and that, if she fails to have them removed, liability would be upon her in the event, say, a limb from one of the trees were to fall on someone’s vehicle.

However, current ordinances militate against the property owners taking it upon themselves to remove tree-line trees that have not been deemed unsafe by village officials or tree committee personnel.

Mayor Greg Adams said that, in this particular instance, a difference of opinion seems to be at work.

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“On the one hand, the insurance company understandably wants to minimize its liability,” he said. “On the other hand, we have a forester who says the trees are perfectly healthy.”

Council needs to proceed cautiously on the issue, he suggested.

“This could have far-reaching implications,” he said. “We have a lot of grand, old trees around the village that define the character of many of our neighborhoods.”

The matter was referred to the village legal counsel, who will research the issue and report back to council.

Among other action, council:

• Learned the village has received an alternative transportation grant of $218,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The money will pay to extend lighting on the east and west ends of Main Street as well as some “streetscaping.” Construction will begin in 2015.

• Adopted an ordinance providing for the issuance of $170,000 in notes by the village in anticipation of the issuance of bonds. The sale of the bonds will pay for the cost of street and alley improvements, curb and sidewalk replacements, water and sewer improvements and utility relocations and easements in connection with the Community Commons project.

• Resolved to authorize the advertisement for bids for construction of the Cherry Alley Extension.

jlowe@daily-jeff.com


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