The city manager doesn't want the tree-removal ordinance used as a weapon in property disputes.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- City Manager Charles Tieche has recommended that city council stay out of the tree-removal business.
On Monday, Tieche asked council to consider creating a policy on the removal of dead trees from private property. City ordinances allow city employees to remove dead trees from private property.
Tieche said he is concerned that without a policy on the ordinance, some city residents may use it against their neighbors in property disputes. He noted that on Monday a city resident asked him if the city could remove the dead trees on her property line.
Property dispute: The city resident is involved in a property dispute with her neighbor, Tieche said. He said that today he will mail both property owners involved in the dispute a letter asking them to determine who owns the trees and remove them by April 1.
If the trees are not removed by April 1, they will be removed by the city, Tieche said. The property owners would be billed for the cost of the removal.
"I think it potentially sets a precedent that we may not want to stay on or establish," Tieche said. "I don't believe it was the intent of that section of the code for the city to get into the tree-removal business."
The ordinance was created so that the city can remove dead trees that could fall and block a road or knock over a power line, Tieche said.
Council did not comment on the ordinance.
Police calls: On Monday, council also received a report of police activity in the city in December. The report shows that the police received 772 calls during the month.
Tieche said he thinks council will begin receiving a similar report each month. In the past, police have submitted reports to council in different formats, Tieche said.
The report submitted Monday is organized by the nature of a call or crime. For example, the report shows that police made 265 traffic stops during the month.
The report also shows that in December, police made 61 bank escorts and received 36 reports involving property and 34 reports of accidents.
The next council meeting will be Feb. 6. Council is expected to discuss its 2002 budget that day.