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Tree debate burns through Lisbon streets

April 14, 2008
LISBON—Tempers flared Monday as village officials and residents again discussed the future of Lincoln Way’s trees.

Several residents from both inside and outside the village turned out to voice their opinions about the future of the trees.

Vine Street resident Kim Halverstadt asked Village Council to compromise and save 14 trees along the street, which he said could be saved.

“I went out with Mr. Frye today and looked at the trees,” Halverstadt said. “Why can’t we save the 14 trees? You could have an inspector on site during construction to save them.”

Village officials, the shade tree commission, as well as officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources met with residents last month to hear concerns about the project, which has been in the works for a few years. At that meeting commission Chairman Fred Brickner agreed to look into the possibility of boring through the trees after resident Stevie Halverstadt and her sister offered to help pay for the service if it increased the cost of the project.

Lincoln Way resident Wayne Herrod accused Council of giving disinformation about the project.

“I’ve heard Council throw out a bunch of things that I go out and check myself that are just not true,” Herrod said, adding that the truck traffic that runs across the curbs on Lincoln Way has caused the most damage to the sidewalks.

Mayor Mike Lewis, who appeared frustrated at times, said officials have spent a lot of time on the project.

“We’ve had public hearings, and no one has shown up. You wait until the eleventh hour to come in here and try to do something about it. We could have been discussing this earlier,” the mayor said, asserting that the species of trees that will be planted along the street in replacement of the old trees has not yet been determined.

A resident new to the area also asked that Council try to save the trees, saying the trees on Lincoln Way and the fact that the village had a shade tree commission were factors in his moving to the area.

A group of teens also spoke in favor of the trees, adding they were beautiful to look at and provide shade on hot days when they walk home from school.

Though everyone in attendance had the opportunity to speak to Council, tempers continued to be hot after the meeting had adjourned.

“I look at this panel and I’m thinking you could really give these trees up without your heart bleeding,” resident Nancy Shattuck said after the meeting adjourned.

Council President Roger Gallo took issue with Shattuck’s comment, saying that he and other officials have patiently listened to everything people have to say.

“That’s insulting. I’ve patiently listened; I’ve read the materials. We’re spending a million dollars to a million and a half dollars of your money, of my money, on this project. You think we’re just going to go out there with chainsaws?” Gallo said. “I have patiently listened to you people repeatedly. It’s disenchanting.”

The Lincoln Way rehabilitation project calls for storm sewer installation, pavement replacement, curb and sidewalk removal and replacement and sanitary sewer, drainage and waterline improvements as well as the removal and replanting of trees.

In other matters, Council heard from a Maple Street resident requesting that an alley near her home be closed. The alley has been a source of frustration for the resident as vehicles traveling down it have struck her fence often. Once the woman submits the necessary paperwork, an ordinance will be created.



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