Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Hereford Supervisors Vote to Repeal Tree Ordinance
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent
2022-08-03

            The tree ordinance is officially gone in Hereford Township, but what's next?

            Hereford solicitor Eugene Orlando convened a public hearing prior to the Hereford Board of Supervisors' meeting on Tuesday, August 2, in person and via Zoom, to field comments from the public on the repeal of the ordinance.

            Residents shared their thoughts, reiterating what they had said in prior meetings regarding fear of liability from the marked trees on their property, and their lack of knowledge or skills to bring down trees.

            They also discussed working with the township to rent or buy a bucket truck and assisting with fundraising to that end.

            A resident said he had prepared a crew to help take down trees, including some paid workers, but expressed frustration at not having the equipment to shut down the road. Later in the regular meeting supervisor Keith Masemore said that he could make arrangements with the road crew to have the barricades dropped off and picked up after the work.

            During the solicitor's report in the regular meeting prior to the vote on the repeal, board chairman John Membrino read some excerpts from letters from residents regarding the dangers of the dead trees.

            He said the ordinance was really about the ash trees, and that 88% of those marked by the arborist were identified as such.  "They're not coming back, folks," he stated.

            He also read a letter that was intended to be sent by the supervisors to property owners with marked trees, which outlined the owners' responsibilities for tree removal. Residents later replied comments about how a letter should have been sent prior to the arborist's work being done.

            Membrino said that the residents had committed to getting the work done within six months if the ordinance were repealed and noted that after driving around the township in six months, they would see how much work had been done.

            Later in the meeting a resident said that no one had committed to the six months, but that the owners would be working the township to remove the trees.

            Membrino stated that the vote taken in a prior meeting to repeal the ordinance was not on the agenda and was in violation of the Sunshine Act. The violation could result in a fine from $100 to $1000 for board members.

            Following the discussion, the supervisors took vote on the repeal, with Karla Dexter and Keith Masemore voting yes, and John Membrino voting no. The vote was met with a round of applause from the audience.

 


 

 

 

 

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