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City ordinance allows Newberry trees to be on hold

Treeless for years to come.

That’s the fate of a section of West Fourth Street in the Newberry neighborhood of Williamsport, where the state Department of Transportation removed 51 trees about a year ago as part of its reconstruction of West Fourth between Route 15 and Hillside Avenue.

Neighborhood residents were not happy about the situation as the trees were removed and, along with them, their shade.

Now we are told that PennDOT will wait until its next major project in 2028 to replace the trees.

Huh?

If this were a homeowner who took down a diseased tree between the sidewalk and the curb, he would be required to replace that tree.

As it turns out, there is no timeline in the city tree ordinance that says how long the homeowner has to plant a replacement tree, the Sun-Gazette was told recently.

The homeowner could wait years.

So what PennDOT is doing — or not doing — turns out to be not so shady after all.

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