Trees come down for sidewalks in Durant
by By Jessica Breger
The City of Durant has received several calls from residents commenting on the good job being done by placing new sidewalks for school children, according to city street supervisor James Young.
Not all residents are happy with the project, however. Some residents living on North 8th Avenue in Durant were upset when they found out the trees that shaded the road would be cut down.
Wilma Gecks said she and several of her neighbors were very upset to see the trees go.
“They were beautiful trees,” said Gecks.
Gecks said she called the city to express her concern and was simply told there was a grant that allowed them to take down the trees.
Young said that the city did not want to take down any trees, but to make safe sidewalks for the children to walk to and from school, some of the city trees had to be removed.
The roots of the trees removed were causing sidewalks to be lifted and broken, creating safety hazards and not allowing those in wheelchairs to use the sidewalks, according to Young.
“They were a hazard,” said Young. “We’re leaving every tree we can.”
He said trees with deep roots that would not harm sidewalks were allowed to stay.
Young said that 8th Avenue got “hit hard” when it came to taking trees down. He said while most roads only had a few, if any, to come down, 8th Avenue saw nearly all its trees taken away.
Young said the city will place sod where the trees were so that the street still looks nice.
He suggested anyone who wants a tree in front of their house to plant one in the yard instead of the easement between the sidewalk and street. This will prevent the roots from becoming a problem with the new sidewalks.
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