On Tuesday the saga between the city of Portsmouth and the Scioto County Commissioners over trees took what is believed to be its last turn. The commissioners hired a contractor to finish work.
Earlier this month an elderly woman tripped on a sidewalk near the Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services. The woman was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Prior to the injury various county officials have tried to work their way through the Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission, seeking permission to remove the trees along a seventh street sidewalk. The roots of the trees have started to raise the sidewalk, causing a potential tripping hazard along the sidewalk.
After hitting several roadblocks with the city and the woman injuring herself, the commissioners decided the trees had to be removed and ordered county staff to remove them.
At the time, parts of the trees were removed, leaving the trunk until underground utilities could be marked.
It was made known on Tuesday the commissioners hired local contractor Eddie Kreckler to remove the remainder of two trees on Seventh Street, as well as fix a sidewalk that caused injury to an elderly lady after tripping on the sidewalk. The estimate is $3500 for Kreckler’s services.
Once the city of Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission learned of what the commissioners were doing, Portsmouth Solicitor John Haas said he would explore the idea of citing the county $500 a tree, for violating city ordinances.
In a conversation with the Daily Times on Tuesday, said the city is no longer exploring the idea of citing the county for damaging the trees.
“We’re not going to do anything on it. They (commissioners) are going to replace them and that’s the main thing,” Haas said.
Haas hinted at a possible ribbon cutting ceremony when the trees are replanted.
“They’ve already ordered them (replacement trees) and they are on the approved list, so everything is fine,” Haas said.
According to Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis, replacement trees have been ordered from Coleman Landscaping and will be replaced in the spring.
As a part of the contract, Kreckler will remove the damaged sidewalk, remove the remainder of the trees and roots. He will pour a new sidewalk reinforced with concrete and rebar.
Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree said Kreckler should be finished with the work soon.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter