South Greensburg residents irate over tree felling
South Greensburg council's decision to fell trees in the community park might lead to future problems, a resident warned the panel on Monday.
“What you have done is expose the borough to this kind of liability ... because you've chosen not to listen,” Deb Muse said.
She was among 20 people in a packed council chamber who questioned the board's decision last month to award a contract to Mt. View Lumber of Smicksburg in Indiana County, to cut the trees for $10,000.
A handful of people protested council's decision in June. The agreement doesn't specify how many trees are to be cut.
Mt. View began felling the trees last week.
Muse questioned whether the borough needed a forestry plan before inviting loggers.
“You're telling me there's no plan, no plan presented, no oversight ... and (not) done from a forestry perspective,” Muse said.
She further questioned the wisdom of eliminating trees from the park, a recreational area she said people visit daily.
Muse recounted going to the park during the weekend and examining 63 felled trees.
“One of them showed signs of rot. These (the others) were pristine trees,” Muse said.
She said she counted tree rings and saw some more than 80 years old, including one about 170 years old.
In a Tribune-Review letter to the editor, forester William Paxton questioned council's decision and said the borough should have received at least $20,000 for the trees, which he described as healthy.
Some of the trees pose safety issues, said William Costelnock, who lives near the park. But he questioned whether the timbering work was put out for bid.
Muse and Suzanne Borza of Greensburg went on to plead with council to stop the timbering — something council members said they can't do.
“There's still time to stop it from getting worse and save a patch of that woods,” Muse said.
“You have a chance to stop right now,” Borza said. “That's what we're here for.”
But the felling of trees can't be stopped, Councilman Bob Thomas replied.
“We already sold the lumber,” he said.
After the meeting, council President Clentin Martin said he spoke with representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They said a forestry plan is preferred but did not add that it is required, Martin said.
Some speakers presented incorrect information, he said.
Foresters and potential bidders looked at the trees months ago but were scared off, Martin added.
“If you don't get a bid, what are you going to do?” Martin said. “I can't force people to bid.
“They backed off because of all this pressure,” he said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 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.
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Indiana County school employee allegedly showed 2 students an inappropriate photo
- Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- Harrold Middle School students hit new high with food drive
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Former Hempfield Area director makes guest appearance at University of Alabama
- Dining at Applebee’s helps Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action
- Westmoreland County, Mt. Pleasant Borough officials try to solve Willow parking issue
- Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing