Trees to be chopped before repaving begins

September 09, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Greencastle will be a little less green this year when Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews cut down four big trees on South Washington Street to make way for a repaving project in that section of the borough.

W.B. "Bud" Marshall, chairman of the three-member Greencastle Shade Tree Commission, said the trunks of the trees, two maples and two sycamores, have grown into the street.

The trees have to come down before PennDOT begins repaving the street, Marshall said. Work could begin this fall or next spring, depending on PennDOT's schedule, borough officials said.


The repaving project also will cover part of North Allison Street, Councilman Donald Coldsmith said.

Only one tree, a Bradford pear, is affected on North Allison, Marshall said. While it's out of the way of the paving project, PennDOT is putting in a storm drain near it. The tree's roots have to be cut and that will make it unstable, he said.

The homeowner agreed to remove the tree, he said.

Marshall said all five trees will be replaced with varieties suitable for a street location.

In the mid-1980s, the council adopted a policy that makes property owners pay for sidewalks and curbs along any borough- or state-maintained street, whenever the street is rebuilt or repaved.

In 1997, property owners on another stretch of Allison Street had to put in sidewalks and curbs when their section was repaved. Two years later, a mile-long stretch of South Carlisle Street was repaved, forcing homeowners to pay for new sidewalks and curbs. Next to be done was a section of U.S. 11 North.

Borough officials notified property owners on South Washington and North Allison streets two years ago that their streets were next on the repaving list.

An exact number of property owners was not available Wednesday, but Coldsmith estimated the number on both streets at about 100.

He said, using "a rough estimate," that about 75 percent of the South Washington Street property owners have already rebuilt their sidewalks and curbs. About 25 percent did so on North Allison Street, he said.

Others have asked for extensions.

On Tuesday night the council, on a 4-3 vote, agreed to give property owners who haven't done so until Dec. 1 to rebuild their curbs and sidewalks, Coldsmith said.

Property owners can have the work done by PennDOT's contractor, by a contractor hired by the borough, by their own private contractor or they can do the work themselves provided the work meets borough specifications.

Those who ignore the Dec. 1 deadline could see the borough hire contractors to do the work and send them the bill.

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