This week’s removal of dozens of trees in the heart of a Centre County community is getting mixed reactions in town.
In Milesburg, trees are coming down and controversy is going up.
“I want the trees to stay. I thought they were beautiful. I wish they would have been topped. I wish they would have been trimmed. I wish we had hired professionals to fix our sidewalks. I think the people of Milesburg deserve that.”
The sidewalks are a primary reason for the tree removal.
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“There was a concern about the sidewalks with the root system from the trees growing up through here. They’re overgrown and heaving up our sidewalks.”
Along Turnpike Street, the main route in Milesburg, 40 some trees are being removed.
Sandy Dieterle, a Milesburg council member, is among those asking questions about the project, including about public input and access to the plans.
“I’m 62. I’m a grandmother and a social worker. I am an elected official to this borough.”
And yet when she asked to see a map of water lines impacted by tree roots
“I was told it was a threat to Homeland Security for me to see that map.”
Dieterle did eventually see the maps. She has two trees in front of her home and a family marker.
Those backing the tree removal say it’s just the initial step of plans to later remove the stumps, fix the sidewalks and even install new markers.
“Let’s put a pole in for each tree dedicated to somebody. Put a pole with an American flag, some flowerpots. Let’s line the street with flowerpots.”
There are other issues here, including safety. The trees made it difficult for those living along the street to back out of their driveway.
For Dieterle, there’s still a host of concerns, but with the trees coming down, she says she just wants to move forward.
“Well, out of the bad, I believe there will come something good. I’m hoping the trees falling today and yesterday will end a bad time and maybe new hope will come, and bring new hope to Milesburg.”