There is trouble with the trees in Monongahela
Jim Bindy serves as chairman of Monongahela's Shade Tree Commission.
So he was surprised to see that several of the trees that lined the downtown streets were recently cut down.
“It's disturbing to me that those trees were removed without our committee being consulted,” Bindy told city council recently. “I thought that's why we're here.”
Bindy said a representative of the Penn State University Urban Foresters spent a day in Monongahela recently and was impressed with what he saw.
“He praised the amount of trees here,” Bindy said.
Mayor Bob Kepics said the city received a number of complaints about the effects of the trees. He said residents complained about objects from the trees falling on cars. People also complained of slipping on wet leaves on the sidewalk. The mayor said the trees roots were getting into sewer lines and buckling asphalt. But Councilman Ken Kulak said he too was “disturbed” when he learned the trees were being removed.
“The morning I learned that, I put a halt to it,” said Kulak, who is employed by CM Services, Architecture, Engineer and Construction Management out of Peters Township.
“I'm an architect who designs revitalization projects. They all include trees in them.
“It's hard to ask MARC for money for (more) trees when 18 trees are removed. Why not consult us?”
Monongahela Area Revitalization Corp. is a nonprofit organization “made up of volunteers living, working or interested in the sustained development of the greater Monongahela area.” Kulak noted that MARC helps steer revitalization in Carroll Township, Monongahela and New Eagle.
MARC meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month.
MARC's involvement includes everything from planning the “pooch parade” to purchasing trees for the downtown or emergency equipment for volunteer responders.
Tom Ruschak, who formerly owned West Main Pharmacy, said 10 of the city's living trees were removed from the downtown. Ruschak claimed that in only one area was the asphalt cracked.
Ruschak said he canvassed the downtown, talking to residents and business owners about the trees.
“I only had one complaint and that can be corrected with the right tree,” said Ruschak.
Ruschak asked what the city plans to do to improve the streetscape.
“The fact is it's done,” Ruschak said. “So where do we go from here?”
Kepics said he favors replacing the trees, a sentiment shared by Ruschak.
“I want Mon City, not cement city,” Ruschak said.
In the aftermath of the council meeting, Kulak said he plans to ask MARC Monday to consider mapping the downtown area, deciding the best places to plant trees. He will ask MARC to work with the shade tree commission on that plan.
“We knew some of the trees were becoming difficult the way they were growing and how they growing,” Ruschak said. Some were not surviving in their environment.
“We definitely want to reinstate trees in game plan.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For some, pathway to Thanksgiving often bumpy
- Rostraver woman collecting blankets for homeless vets
- Century-old Christmas tradition catching on in Mon Valley
- Christmas Cheer Club initiative benefits needy Mon Valley kids
- Accounting career adds up for Fallowfield native
- No need to eat alone on Thanksgiving in Mon Valley
- Monongahela Valley Hospital celebrates annual Light-Up Night
- Sanitation truck driver fired after Donora crash
- Spending dispute emerges in Monessen
- 2 Monessen men ordered to stand trial in 2012 murder
- Charleroi man accused of firing pellet gun at 4 girls