approved 5-0 at the Monday, July 16 meeting an ordinance establishing a Shade Tree Fund and authorizing the Emmaus Shade Tree Commission to collect money from borough homeowners who do not wish to replace trees on their properties after cutting them down.
Under the measure, the Shade Tree Commission would collect $200 from the homeowner, which covers the cost of a new tree to be planted elsewhere in the borough, but is not enough to cover the cost of planting that tree, according to Councilman Mike Waddell, who chairs council’s General Administration Committee. The Shade Tree Ordinance came out of Waddell’s committee.
The original version of the Shade Tree Ordinance presented to council, Waddell explained, would have charged borough residents $450 – enough to cover the tree and planting – but some members of council, including Councilman Brent Labenberg, found that amount to be too high.
The ordinance also met with pushback from Labenberg in past council meetings because he felt borough council should not be so involved with what borough residents are doing on their own property.
Labenberg voted in favor of the measure Monday night, stating that it does give the resident “more options.”
Councilmen Brian Holtzhafer and Nathan Brown were absent from the July 16 meeting.