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East Greenville Council Mulling Main Street Tree Removal
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            East Greenville Borough Council is considering a plan to pay for the removal of six trees in the 200 and 300 blocks of Main Street. After Monday's public meeting, counNcil President Tracey Hunsinger said she is leaning towards supporting a future proposal to make that happen.

            "We need to come up with a plan to remove the trees as soon as possible," she said during the meeting. 

            In 2005, borough council installed six Zelkova trees in that portion of the street as part of a streetscape program. Manager Jim Frey estimated the potential cost of removing each tree at $400.

             However, the tree roots have damaged the sidewalk in front of a multi-use property at 240 Main Street. During a public meeting late last month, Hunsinger read a letter from the property owners – Calogero and Nicolina Croce, according to the information posted on the Montgomery County website – requesting that the council pay to repair the sidewalk and remove the tree.

            In the letter, the property owners stated that their sidewalk had lifted and become dangerous, according to Hunsinger. She said after the meeting that they expressed concerns about pedestrians tripping on the sidewalk.

            In an email received Tuesday morning, Hunsinger stated that council has paid to remove the tree on the property.

            The trees planted by the borough 12 years ago with a Main Street Revitalization Grant were never supposed to get as big as they are, according to Member Robert McCluskie.

            According to Fry, those trees could be distressed. He said after the meeting that some of trunks are splitting and bark is falling off the trees.

            Council voted to seek a professional cost estimate to remove the trees. However, the use of a county grant to plant them could complicate that work, according to Hunsinger.  She explained that if the borough unilaterally removes the trees, it would be required to pay back the grant money and risk never receiving another grant. 

            Fry said municipal officials are conferring with the Montgomery County Planning Commission, the organization which oversaw the streetscape project, to figure out which trees need to be removed.

            In other news, the East Greenville Borough Police Department responded to 1.9 calls per day in September, according to the monthly police activity report. According to Mayor Ryan Sloyer 115 total police incidents – including EMS, fire, traffic stops, follow ups and foot patrol –  helped drive up the rate of daily calls for service to 1.9, a figure which nearly doubled the August calls for service per day of 1.0.

            In September, the local department responded to 44 calls for service from the public including crimes. It reported 11 crimes, made six criminal arrests and issued 21 traffic citations.

            The local department and the state police received a combined 57 calls from the public for service, an increase of 26 from August, according to the information provided by East Greenville Borough Police Chief Drew Skelton.

            Member Joe Arahill did not attend the meeting. Mayor Ryan Sloyer participated by telephone.





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