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Chipping ordinance reworked PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Jaeger   
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 19:12

Village officials hope wording makes it clear what free service covers

Village of Saukville residents seem delighted with the village’s free tree chipping service, but officials recently came under fire for their interpretation of when it should be provided.

The Village Board is poised to eliminate any second-guessing on the service with a reworded branch and brush chipping ordinance.

Trustees heard a complaint earlier this fall from a resident who objected to the village’s refusal to chip tree limbs left at the curbside, with an explanation that the chipping service is not provided in cases of tree removal.

The resident said it is not specified in the ordinance that trees that are completely taken down are not eligible for the free service.

Public Works Supt. Ray de Bruijn said questions about what tree debris will be removed by the village are often raised.

“Because of the emerald ash borer, a lot of larger trees are coming down and residents would like to have us take them away. We just don’t have the time or manpower to chip them all,” de Bruijn said.

When asked how village workers determine when a tree has been cut down or merely trimmed, de Bruijn said his Department of Public Works crew has developed a keen eye in knowing the difference.

“We have been doing this for so long we have a pretty good sense of whether the branches are from a tree removal, because they are of varying size and length,” de Bruijn said.

In an attempt to take the heat off the DPW, the Public Works Committee has recommended adding wording in the ordinance that is more explicit in stating what kind of yard waste will not be chipped.

“The village will provide branch chipping only for branches resulting from tree trimming or tree maintenance,” the reworked ordinance says.

“The village will not accept or chip any branches resulting from tree removal or branches greater than three inches in diameter.”

In situations that do not meet the terms of the free service, the property owner is responsible for removal of the tree limbs.

Village Administrator Dawn Wagner said the rewritten ordinance should eliminate uncertainty about whether the free service will be provided to a property owner.

“There seems to still be questions and this should make everything crystal clear,” Wagner said.

The Village Board tabled acting on the ordinance revision until Nov. 29, the night of the 2017 public hearing on the village budget, to maximize the opportunity for community input.

The village provides the chipping service to the owners of single-family and two-family homes, every Monday from April through October, so the service has ended for the year.

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