Mattapoisett Tree Committee

To the Editor;

            The Mattapoisett Tree Committee is sponsoring an information hearing on February 28 at 6pm at the Fire Station meeting room. Please, please consider attending this meeting whether you support the Mattapoisett Tree Committee or not. Approximately 26 trees will be cut in the center of town. Yes this is very sad, but unfortunately necessary. Sidewalks in some cases in the center of town are impassable. There are raised and cracked sidewalks and damaged curbstones. Large trees and overgrown roots have taken the place of sidewalk space in some cases. The damaged sidewalks make it very hard if not impossible to walk or maneuver a stroller or a wheelchair or even walk safely on the sidewalk. This is a safety hazard and could possibly violate the American with Disabilities Act. The center of town is where the Town Hall, a school, banks, library, tennis and pickleball courts, wharf, playgrounds, beach, churches, shopping and some restaurants are located. All of these Need and should be accessible to all town residents. Although approximately 26 trees will be cut, 32 trees will be planted. They will be a smaller more appropriate species, and yes they will be saplings as their predecessors once were but they will grow. The state and federal government is giving the town 9 million dollars (tip funds) for this project at no cost to the taxpayer, which includes repairing sidewalks, curbing, extending sidewalks and curbing, tree removal, tee planting (more than will be cut), street repair and drainage which is sorely needed. The larger oak trees now in the center of town in most cases were planted before sidewalks, curbings, sewer or paved roads. In contrast, where was the concern when 500 trees were cut for the Mattapoisett Rail Trail and not a single tree was replanted? If we do not take these monies, over the cutting of trees, then the town to complete this project will need to borrow the money and that will mean paying that back with interest. That means the costs will be passed on to the taxpayers at approximately $3,200 per taxpayer. To not take this money is ridiculous and fiscally irresponsible since more trees will be planted than cut. Please attend at let your voices be heard.

Debortah Abelha, Mattapoisett

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