Amherst residents ask town to take down dead trees

Local News

Residents in a Town of Amherst neighborhood say they’re fed up with how the Town is handling dead trees on their property.

People that live on Presidio Place in Amherst tell News 4 they’re concerned the dead ash trees – killed by the emerald ash borer beetle – pose a safety concern. With recent wind storms some neighbors said limbs even fell onto nearby power lines.

“If the winds do take a different turn, there’s a strong possibility that those trees could end up on my parent’s home,” said Katherine Mahshie, whose parents live on Presidio Place.

Many with young children on the street are worried about letting their kids outside to play in fear of falling limbs.

“I’m really concerned about anyone who has young kids – and there are a lot of young kids,” said Presidio Place resident Mike Pasquarella.

Several residents who live on Presidio Place attended the Amherst Town Board’s meeting tonight to make their voices heard. Many say they’re upset that the town came in last year and began the process of taking down the dead trees without finishing the job.

“It’s an eyesore. And people that don’t even live in the neighborhood, they drive by and they look at that and they shake their head,” said Presidio Place resident Donald Lee.

According to the Town Highway Superintendent Patrick Lucey, the town attempted to do the job of taking down the trees themselves – but realized their equipment couldn’t get it done properly, leaving a mess.

“My town crews cannot do this for two reasons; we don’t have the equipment to work in an uneven terrain that’s densely vegetated, and there’s power lines on either side of the property,” Lucey said.  

The issue also comes down to cost. Lucey said when he spoke with a contractor about this previously, he was quoted $250,00 for the job. He said he’s hopeful putting out a bid will lead to a lower cost. He also said the town was approved for a capital project in 2020 specifically for this issue, but that still means residents have to wait before they see any improvement.

“I’d like to see the trees taken down properly,” Presidio resident Donald Lee said. “We’re not going to stop until it’s done.”

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