Breckenridge Texan

City removes trees in sidewalks along Walker Street

City removes trees in sidewalks along Walker Street
December 14
07:51 2018

On Thursday, the City of Breckenridge began removing trees that were growing along Walker Street in downtown Breckenridge. City workers, with the help of inmates from the Walker Sayle Unit, began cutting down the trees that were planted in grates in the middle of the sidewalks in front of some of the buildings along the street.

According to Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion, the city is removing the trees because they are creating problems with concrete on the sidewalks, as well as with the signage and awnings for some of the businesses along the street.

McCuistion said the roots from the trees are pushing up the concrete sidewalks and creating trip hazards in front of some of the businesses. He said the trees are also getting in the awnings of some of the business along the street and blocking their signs.

The city has been dealing with those issues for several years, McCuistion said, and they decided to take out all the trees in the sidewalks before they do any more damage. He said the city is responsible for maintaining the trees and that several times during the years since he’s been city manager they’ve had to hire tree companies to go in and cut the trees back out of the awnings of the buildings.

Once the trees are cut down, McCuistion said, the remaining tree stumps will be cut flush to the ground; then they will have holes drilled in them and stump killer inserted. They will be covered up so they are not a trip hazard.

Future plans

McCuistion said there are no specific plans right now on whether the trees will be replaced with other plants in the future. He said it will take about a year for the stumps to rot out before other plants could be put in their place.

.“We want to talk to the downtown folks,” he said. “My thought was you want something that’s lower, maybe something more colorful like a crape myrtle or something like that.”

He said the cost of replacing the trees with other plants and how they would be paid for, such as through donations, has not been determined yet. However, he said some of the business owners in the area have told him them they don’t want anything at all in front of their businesses because every time somebody opens the door, the leaves get inside and they have to clean them up.

McCuistion, who told city commissioners about his plans to cut down the trees at their meeting last week, said both he and the mayor had received some calls on Thursday from people concerned about the trees being cut down. However, he said, it was necessary because of the problems the trees were causing.

“Everybody doesn’t have to agree with it, but those things have a limited life,” he said. “We’re going to do something to replace them. It’s like all these road projects around here; it may look bad right now, but it’ll look better when we’re through.”

Workers cut down the trees on the north side of Walker on Thursday and are expected to cut down the ones on the south side of the street next week.

 

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: A tree stump at the intersection of Walker Street and North Baylor Street is marked with caution tape after the tree was cut down on Thursday. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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