July 18, 2013

City council explains tree removal

City council explains tree removal
By Jerry W. Kram
The Parshall City Council tried to placate residents upset about the removal of some trees from boulevards where streets and sidewalks are being replaced.
A number of residents showed up to ask the council to explain why so many trees were being removed in conjunction with the street project. Karen Jorgenson and Judy Chapman presented the council with a petition with 160 signatures of people wanting to preserve the city’s trees.
Mayor Richard Bolkan said one reason people were so upset is that a rumor was going around the city that all the trees in town were going to be cut down. He said that wasn’t the case and he would never support anything like that. He said the plans for the street redevelopment called for about 50 to 60 trees to be removed because they were to close to the new sidewalks and their roots would eventually cause the sidewalks to buckle, causing a safety problem for pedestrians.
He pointed out that only trees with a red X painted on them would be removed. Even then, after hearing complaints from residents Bolkan went around with the city engineer and together they decided that another dozen or so trees could be spared. Those trees were marked with a pink ribbon.
Chapman pointed to a picture of the Catholic Church saying that all of the lovely trees in the photo had been removed. Public Works Supervisor Al Christianson said that only two of the five trees near the church were removed because of the street project. The other three trees were removed at the request of the church. He added that a number of property owners asked for additional trees to be cut down in addition to the ones removed for the street project.

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