City council cut down a tree-trimming ordinance with a 6-0 vote during its meeting Monday night.
The proposal, introduced in August, would give City Arborist Dave Bienemann authority on the removal of dead or dying trees on private properties. City council tabled the ordinance after a debate in September.
Council voted the ordinance down in the absence of Fourth Ward Council Member Rob Piasecki.
The original plan focused mostly on aesthetics according to Second Ward Council Member John Zanfardino.
“It’s been a long process and we’ve had six or seven months to think about it,” Zanfardino said. “The reason we brought it back up was because it was raised by citizens and I didn’t want to leave it on the table.”
The proposal was voted down because the current ordinance addresses 90 percent of trees in the city, while the rest of the issues are resolved privately, Bienemann said.
Bienemann usually addresses 30 complaints a year about potentially hazardous trees on private property, but after advising property owners on “what they can do” to resolve the issues, no one has met him with resistance.
“In nine-and-a-half years, I haven’t seen anything escalate to that,” he said.
Council was in agreement that residents typically do enough in taking care of their own trees after hearing from Bienemann.
Although the issue of dead trees may be resolved quiclkly, the city noted the dangers they pose after Sunday’s storm.
Five dead trees fell in the city during the storm, said Municipal Administrator John Fawcett during the meeting. One at City Park and four at Wintergarden Park.
“Mother nature took care of [those] for us,” Fawcett said.
Fallen trees and branches were removed from the right of way by 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, he said.
Though there were some fallen branches in the city, Fawcett said, the storm does not justify a brush pick-up.
Also discussed at city council:
-Barbara Ruland, executive director of Downtown BG, asked for support of “Small Business Saturday,” which will take place on Nov. 30. Shoppers patronizing downtown businesses will be entered in a drawing for up to $250 in Downtown Dollars gift cards.
“Small businesses play a major role in the community,” she said. “They add to the unique character (of downtown) and play a role in economy.”
-Executive Director Earlene Kilpatrack of the Chamber of Commerce said there will be 38 floats in this year’s holiday parade, which will be sponsored in part by the University. This year will also mark the first annual “Joan Gordan award-best of show,” named in honor of the city’s former director of Chamber of Commerce. The parade will take place on Saturday.
*Alex Alusheff contributed to this article.