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County proposes new law to control limbs

 

NATCHEZ — County officials are seeking to control the build-up of tree limbs and branches on county streets by adding a new law to address the issue.

In recent meetings, District 2 Supervisor David Carter proposed an ordinance change so that any time a contractor for a utility company cuts tree limbs hanging over their power lines, the county and its residents would not be left holding the branches, he said.

“We get calls all of the time about these limbs on the ground that stay on the ground weeks, sometimes months, at a time,” Carter said. “We are looking at putting something in place so that when a company comes and cuts limbs, they’d have a certain amount of time to pick them up.”

During Monday’s meeting with the Adams County Board of Supervisors, representatives from Southwest Electric voiced their thoughts on the ordinance and said they would support it while offering an explanation to the recent increase in piles of greenery.

The group said they had contracted with a vegetation removal group who’s truck used for disposing of limbs sat in a shop for months, causing the limbs to pile up while the company waited for the truck to be repaired.

Carter said the ordinance is meant to address the problem altogether and is not specifically directed at Southwest or their contractors but rather any number of companies involved in cutting limbs.

Adams County Attorney, Scott Slover said the county could impose a $1,000 fine on any contractors or entities involved in cutting that fail to remove the limbs within two weeks from the time they hit the ground.

“The proposed ordinance would be two-pronged,” Slover said. “The first would require the entity who is doing the cutting to remove them and the second would require the utility companies to have specific terms in their vegetation management plan showing compliance with the ordinance. … If a utility company is not reasonably making sure that this ordinance is enforced, the county could come back and tell the utility company that they’re in violation, too.”

The board unanimously approved a motion to advertise an ordinance hearing that could take place within the next month.