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Tree Ordinance to be Researched in Bally
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent
2022-06-08

            Bally Borough Council, on Tuesday night, agreed to have its solicitor, R. Timothy Curley, research an ordinance to require Bally property owners to remove dead or diseased trees that are a danger to the public or a neighbor's property.

            Borough Manager Wendy Mutter explained the current borough property maintenance ordinance does not cover dead trees.  The borough council held a discussion on how to determine if a tree is dead or a danger to the public.  The question was raised, who would be responsible for paying an arborist who must enter private property to examine a tree?

            Mutter explained, that, unlike some townships that consist of properties with large amounts of acreage, borough properties are frequently adjacent to each other.  Mutter explained if the borough had an ordinance that covered tree removal, the borough could send a letter to the property owner that notified them that the tree was in violation of the borough ordinance.

            The property owner would then have a certain amount of time to rectify the problem.  If the tree was not removed, the borough could perform the work and lien the property. 

            Recently, lantern flies and other pests have destroyed many trees in the region.  Ash trees, in particular, have been destroyed by a disease that has caused property owners to raise their hands in despair.  To take a diseased tree that is 50-foot or higher down is a significant cost to a property owner.  At the borough council meeting, it was mentioned the potential ordinance could be an example of governmental overreach.

            In another matter, Bally Borough Council agreed, in principle, to vacate a portion of North 5th Street above Elm Street that exists only on paper.  Once it is reviewed by Curley, the borough will eliminate the street from its books.  Mutter noted the paper street goes nowhere.

            The borough council agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the Berks County Conservation District to a joint commitment to control sediment and pollution affecting the waters of the commonwealth. 

Additionally, the borough council approved the Eastern Berks Fire Company and Bally Ambulance submission of updated run cards as required by the Berks County Department of Emergency Services.  The borough would like the emergency services to provide updated run cards to the borough office.

            The all-volunteer Eastern Berks County Fire Company fund drive is ongoing.  By this time, in June 2021, donations had reached $70,000.  Thus far, the fire company has received $60,000.  Donations account for approximately 25 percent of fire company funds.  The fire company is searching for land to erect a new firehouse to replace its Barto fire station, which has been sold.  On Saturday, August 20th, the annual fire company chicken barbecue will be held at the Bally fire station.

            Bally pool experienced a large crowd on Memorial Day.  Mutter informed the borough council the community pool is doing well.


 

 

 

 

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