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Berwick Councilman wins 1 in battle against Council
In the ongoing saga of Berwick Councilman Shecktor v/s Berwick Council on the issue of who is liable for tree damage, Shecktor wins round 1
By: Andrew Shecktor
One issue has been resolved in the ongoing saga of Berwick resident and Councilman Andrew Shecktor and his battle with codes enforcement and the borough council. The tree which damaged the sidewalk in front of his home at 1308 Fairview Avenue is gone – It has been taken down courtesy of PPL.
Shecktor decided to call PPL in early spring since the tree had died and would cause serious damage to the power lines if it came down on its own. Most of the upper branches were entwined in wires.
PPL responded in early June of 2018 that they would take the tree down, and posted a hang tag on the front door noting the same information.
So, no cost to Shecktor. No cost to the borough. It is a "win-win" situation.
As for the sidewalk? Shecktor is looking at options to correct the problems in the immediate vicinity of the tree stump, with future plans to repave the entire sidewalk.
As they say – you catch more bees with honey… Shecktor says it is in the best interests of local government to work with residents and find the best and lowest cost solution for both the resident and the municipality rather than punish someone knowing full well that they are incapable of correcting the problem. And, Shecktor says he is thankful the current council has shown respect for his issue. The council has shown compassion to other residents as well, and this, after all, is what defines "community."
By way of background:
Shecktor received a notice of violation from the Berwick codes office on May 12, 2017, citing the borough sidewalk ordinance. The notice advised Shecktor that the sidewalk abutting his property at 1308 Fairview Avenue, had buckled severely due to the growth of the roots of a tree growing in the cartway gutter adjacent to the sidewalk, and requested that Shecktor contact the office to advise how he planned to correct this deficiency. After extensive debate the matter remained at a stalemate as to who is responsible when a borough tree damages a property owners' sidewalk.
Berwick Borough council meetings are open to the public and are every third Monday at 7:00 pm at city hall.
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