Borough seeks more control over Main Street trees

There are roughly 28 empty tree wells on Main Street.

BRADLEY BEACH — As the borough considers an “overhaul” of Main Street, members of the council revisited its policy towards trees on the major business thoroughfare. 

“I just want to start the conversation because, as I understand it, a tree on Main Street is the responsibility of the business adjacent [when it comes to] maintenance and or the replacement of that tree,” Mayor Gary Engelstad said at the borough council’s meeting on July 23, stating that there are roughly 28 empty tree wells on Main Street. 

“I personally am not in favor of that and would like to see some uniformity in the way that trees on Main Street are handled,” he said, adding that the other option would see the borough have more oversight over trees along Main Street.

“The other part is over the next couple of years if we try to do an overhaul of Main Street in terms of getting rid of the pavers and putting regular sidewalks in, do we want to wait until that takes place before any decision is made on trees,” the mayor added. 

The borough used to have a Shade Tree Commission that was later disbanded. According to the mayor, the veto power the commission had caused a “lack of action” which frustrated residents and business owners.

“I think for me the main thing is the ability for us to be the final call,” the mayor said. 

Michael McCarthy, of McCabe Avenue, said at the meeting that it had taken him three years to get the approval of the Shade Tree Commission to remove a tree. 

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