Changing ways of clearing

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Saluda to purchase brush cutter for tree trimming ordinance enforcement

SALUDA — The city of Saluda is purchasing a cutter to help in its effort to clear its streets of brush.

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday night and approved the purchase of a brush cutter, which will be attached to the city’s mini excavator, for $5,564.

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City Manager Jonathan Cannon said the city began tree trimming — or brush trimming — enforcement in 2016.

“I am proposing the board of commissioners consider pursuing this enforcement in a different manner this year,” Cannon said.

He suggested city staff send a letter to all property owners in the city indicating that staff will perform moving along the sides of roadways and will push vegetation back to the edge of the clear recovery zone as defined in the ordinance, which is 18 inches.

“The letter will also indicate a start date for the trimming,” Cannon said. “It will further indicate that the city will use a brush cutter, which is indiscriminate in its method of trimming. This has the potential to leave rough-cut ends just like the North Carolina Department of Transportation does when they mow. If a property owner would prefer the city to not mow, tree trim and brush cut, then they can cut their property frontage themselves.”

Commissioners agreed to purchase a 42-inch brush cutter that will attach to its mini excavator.

Cannon said the purchase will serve multiple purposes, including the ability for the city to maintain water and sewer rights of way that are currently being hand cleared, the ability to maintain street edges and to maintain city properties such as the landfill and salt shack area.

“This could be a win for the city,” Cannon said.

Cannon said Kubato, of Asheville, keeps brush cutters in stock so the city could have it by the end of this week. He said staff will send out letters about the tree trimming ordinance this week, and will give them 30 days before enforcing this year.

Commissioner Leon Morgan wanted to know what the life expectancy is on the brush cutter and if it has a warranty. Cannon said he would check on that.

Commissioners unanimously approved purchasing the brush cutter, as well as a budget amendment.