• Tree cutting at community park stopped -- for now


    GREENSBURG, Pa. - A local council has temporarily halted lumbering out of a community park after residents stormed a council meeting to demand to learn why trees were being removed.

    Tree cutting at South Greensburg Community Park has stopped -- at least for now.

    According to Deb Muse, president of a citizens committee formed in opposition to logging the oak and hickory trees, the timbering stopped Tuesday.

    “They have temporarily stopped,” Muse said on Thursday. “They do have a proposal they want to present to the community that they think will make us happy. What the proposal is, I have no idea.”

    The proposal is to be presented when council meets at 6 p.m. Monday.

    The tree cutting “is on hold,” said Councilman Bob Thomas, who met with some of the residents this week.

    “I talked with the people, and we have an idea. We're going to present it then and see what they (council members) think,” Thomas said.

    Thomas declined to reveal the proposal.

    About 20 people packed council chambers on Monday to protest Mt. View Lumber of Smicksburg, Indiana County, harvesting the trees in exchange for payment of $10,000.

    That's too low, residents and forester Bill Paxton contend.

    Council planned to use the proceeds to make improvements in the park, Thomas and council President Clentin Martin said.

    The contract does not specify how many trees are to be cut.

    Muse said she has received numerous calls since Monday's meeting from others who opposing cutting down the mature trees.

    Thomas, who said he knows other residents who support the timbering, estimated that about 70 trees have been felled.

    Council wanted to cut the trees to get rid of dead ones and bring more sunlight to the area to stop moss or lichen from growing on buildings, Thomas said.

    Channel 11’s Joe Holden visited the park on Friday and called it “a sad sight” because there wasn’t a single child around.

    Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

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