Tree trimming leaves Salem road area 'looking horrible'
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Greg Moeller, member of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, informed the board during its meeting Thursday that he was told, “Salem road looks horrible,” by an area resident. “It was an area where they had cut back the brush,” Moeller continued.
Jake Hotchkiss, Henry County engineer, explained why the area looked the way it did. “We have to keep the trees back, otherwise the more they overtake, the harder it is to come back and correct the issue. This was a fresh job, in time it will look better,” he said.
“The man just wanted to know if a chainsaw could have been used,” Moeller said to Hotchkiss and Moeller agreed that it did “look pretty bad out there (Salem Road).”
The engineer explained the situation further. “We might have ‘butchered’ some of the trees but we had to clear a path to work. We understand people are upset about the trees and it seems we don’t agree much on that issue, but it’s a common issue. It’s important to maintain our roads and we did what we had to do,” Hotchkiss said.
Regarding Moeller’s question of the chainsaw, Hotchkiss said, “With the manpower we have, we just can’t do that. We have to maintain our right of ways. We use judgment on yard areas, but general practice is if it’s (a tree) in the right of way, and we deem it necessary to remove or cut it, we will. They present a hazard and it’s a risk we take. Plus, if our guys spend more time using chainsaws, the bigger the risk the county takes on the injury side of it.”
Hotchkiss finished this discussion with, “It will take care of itself and the fresh cuts will make it look worse, but give it time and it will look better. Our roadside guys are doing a great job at managing our roadsides and hopefully, we get the vegetation we want to grow back, it will look good again.”
The engineer also brought a resolution before the board for the county to adopt a stop sign at Logan Avenue and 260th Street, where Pleasant Hill Cemetery is located. Hotchkiss explained his reasoning for this. “With the truck traffic on Logan Avenue, we need a stop sign. Also, we need the sign because of the way the yielding traffic was, most people assumed that traffic on 260th Street should have been yielding to traffic on Logan Avenue, but that’s not how it should have been,” he said.
Continuing his discussion, he said, “The heavy grade of the road makes it hard to stop. There is also bad sight distance for northbound traffic and you had to crank your neck clear around to see and that’s not good for people going 50 miles per hour on that road. Adding this stop sign will make a better intersection and make it safer.”
The board approved the resolution for adopting the stop sign at Logan Avenue and 260th Street.
“Overall, the guys did an excellent job at getting that job done at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. I appreciate their hard work and also for them getting it done so quickly. We will have some seeding to do, but we are ready to open that area up,” Hotchkiss finished.
The board will meet again on Tuesday at 9 a.m.