The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 22, 2013

County Commission delays tree removal decision

— The Limestone County Commission voted to delay accepting a price quote from an Athens tree removal service to eliminate a pair of courthouse trees during its regular meeting Tuesday morning at the Clinton Street annex.

An agenda item to accept a $4,400 quote from Adams & Son to remove two deteriorating Atlas cedar trees on the east and west sides of the county courthouse was postponed because of the possible impact of having a bucket truck at the site.

Two other Athens companies also submitted price quotes to remove the cedars, which the commission has deemed as dangerous and a possible liability due to dropping limbs. Dixieland Tree Service gave a $5,050 removal estimate, and James Paul’s Tree Service priced the project at $5,500.

Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee said two of the three companies — Adams & Son and James Paul’s — planned to use a truck that might impact the sodden courthouse lawn. He said it was his understanding that Dixieland proposed using a tree-climber to remove the trees rather than using a bucket truck.

“Two of them wanted to put big trucks at the courthouse, and I’m concerned about that,” Menefee said following the meeting. “Since this is a quote, it’s not necessary to take the cheapest (estimate) compared to accepting a low bid.

“You can back up to the tree on the west side but the east side of the courthouse has a high bank on that side, and (a truck) would have to get on the ground. The courthouse grass is soggy right now, so we’re going to go back and look at all of the quotes again.”

Robert Norman of Dixieland Tree Service said his quote included a $1,000 cost to put the trees on the ground, and his business could use a tree-climber to avoid using a bucket truck.

“My cousin is a tree-climber, and we would use him to remove the trees to keep from having to build a road to get the equipment in there,” Norman said.

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