Texarkana, Arkansas residents could pay for tree removal

Texarkana, Arkansas residents could pay for tree removal

Texarkana, Arkansas Planning Commission is discussing a new tree ordinance.

People in Texarkana, Arkansas may see some extra fees on their water bills.

Within the city limits, trees are everywhere.

They're nice to have, but need maintaining.

"Right now, citizens are responsible to maintain everything up to the center of the street," said City Works Director, Paul Hackleman.

A new regulation being discussed would change that allowing the city to come in and cut it down for you.

"This ordinance will explore actually condemning trees on private land," Hackleman said.

Since June, several public meetings have been held about the issue.
 
One of the biggest concerns is who will pay to have the trees removed?

One option, adding a $1 to $5 fee to everyone who pays water and sewage.

"On average we usually spend $1,000 if we hire an outside company," Hackleman said. "So if the fee was $1 per month that would generate more than $120,000 per year."

But some aren't having that.

"I just think that's wrong," said Mayor Wayne Smith. "Why would I want to pay a fee to have someone else's tree cutdown? It's their responsibility."

The other option, charging the property owner.

"We would cut it down, put it on their water bill and they'd pay it in 6-12 months, let them pay it out," Smith said.

There's no word on how long a decision will take, or even if the ordinance will be approved.

But officials hope the public will share their thoughts on the matter.

The next public meeting is September 10, at 6pm.

It's being held at the Texarkana, Arkansas City Hall.
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