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Debate sprouts over Rotary Parking Lot trees

August 07, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Harry Morningstar wants to ensure his town can see its parking lot through the trees.

The trees should be planted in Rotary Parking Lot in a way that doesn't obstruct lights, Morningstar said, but he argued that the lot would benefit from more than the eight trees planned by the Waynesboro Borough Council.

On Wednesday, Morningstar addressed both the council's street committee and then the council as a whole regarding a decision from the July 16 meeting. The council had approved the paving and walkway plans for the lot with "up to eight trees."

The council's agreement was that additional trees could be added later.

Morningstar, a member of the Main Street Waynesboro Inc. organization and owner of Furniture Market, said several citizens have come forward saying they are willing to donate money for landscaping the lot. He described adding trees as "the greening of this project."

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"They're hardly bigger than your finger when planted," Morningstar said. "Eight trees in that lot are going to be pretty hard to find."

Although a contractor's bid will be approved mid-September for the imprinted walkway, borough maintenance workers likely will be responsible for paving the lot, which is behind West Main Street. Specifications for the $93,000 project are in the process of being drafted.

Council members disagreed Wednesday night whether to add trees or move forward with the plans as approved last month.

"We don't want any more than eight trees ... right now. Why do we want trees in a parking lot?" Councilman Charles "Chip" McCammon argued.

At the street committee meeting, Councilman Ronnie Martin said he wanted to stick to the plan and pointed out that trees could create lighting and law enforcement problems. Leaves could also clog storm drains, he said.

Also, delays should be avoided because the cost of blacktop has been escalating dramatically from one month to the next, according to Martin.

Morningstar proposed a meeting to find a compromise among borough staff, a Main Street Waynesboro Inc. contracted landscaping architect, and the Waynesboro police chief.

Morningstar was authorized to set up the joint workshop before the next council meeting.

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