|Who's tree is this anyway?|
C. Davis photo
"You cannot write a bylaw that negates the municipal act," Webster said with some exasperation. "It's very difficult for the town to expect citizens to repair property that requires special skills or equipment." In terms of having the work done by professionals, or doing it himself, he said "They (tree surgeons) won't even touch a tree without a signed waiver from the town. I'm not going to go out there and cut it because I have no liability. The Town has a hard decision to make. You have to do something about it, or there's going to be problems."
Webster's concerns were echoed by Pincher Creek Citizen Reg Kristoff, who also addressed the council. "I live on Main Street, he said. "They (tree cutters) will not touch it. This summer a branch came off, and took a power line off a neighbours house. I'd like to know where I stand with that tree." "Can I cut it down, do we maintain, what do we do? It's on Town property. You can't touch it. Tree cutters will not touch it."
Later on council formally addressed the issue. Councillor Sahra Nodge moved that Bylaw 1572-06 be referred to the Policy Review Committee. Councillor Don Anderberg said "I think there was already motion. I'm really surprised this bylaw reads the way it does. There were major discussions about it. We went through all of this stuff, and the council of the day then said the Town was aware of the trees and is responsible for them."
Anderberg said that the Town had purchased equipment and paid to have personnel trained to do arborist work at that time, and that at least one person presently employed by the town was still trained in such work.
"Let's get it done," said Mayor Olsen. Councillor Wayne Oliver agreed. "Let's move forward on it. What are we going to do to remedy the tree problems for our citizens?" he said.
"I actually thought this bylaw had already been changed," said Anderberg.
The motion to refer the bylaw to the Policy Review Committee was unanimously passed.
Province of Alberta Municipal Government Act