By Mike Pidanick
Trees were among the issues brought up by the public during Tuesday's brief North Tonawanda Common Council meeting at City Hall.
Natalie Fiala, an East Road resident, was among those who spoke about trees being trimmed by power companies and often being left unsightly for local residents.
"We're letting the power companies come along and hack at the trees," Fiala said. "They look terrible. They randomly chop up branches that they feel are in the way of their power lines with no input from the residents that live there."
"I believe the city should not allow the power companies to cut in these ways," she added. "I believe there are alternative solutions."
Among the issues Fiala mentioned included the fact that the branches near power lines are the only ones cut - while these close to homes and sidewalks remain. The board reiterated it remains committed to this and other issues presented by the community at Tuesday's meeting.
"A lot of these trees were planted 55-60 years ago and they're timing out," Third Ward Alderman Eric M. Zadzilka said. "They're dying and they're overgrown. It's an issue trying to replace all those trees. But we'll look into it. I'm sure the mayor will look into it and we'll see that it can be done correctly, properly and respectfully to the community."
During the meeting, it was also announced there will be a council outreach session from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, at the North Tonawanda Public Library.
Alderman-at-Large Robert Pecoraro said, "We're going to be participating for residents that don't feel like they can be part of a council meeting, we're there for them. Encourage your friends to come on out if they have an issue that they don't want to speak in a forum like this, they can come out and talk to us one on one.
"And, of course," he added, "we're always available. We're just a phone call away."
In other news, the council unanimously approved the appointment of Ray Malone as a firefighter.
The next Common Council meeting will be held on July 19, but earlier than usual due to the Canal Fest parade. The exact time was not disclosed at Tuesday's meeting, but will be available on the city website. There will be no public participation in the abbreviated meeting.