PETTISVILLE, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Transportation will begin removing 21 trees on residential walkways today, after the commencement of the “Safe Routes to School” project on Monday.
The project to improve sidewalks and signs around local schools requires the removal of some trees that are in the way of renovated sidewalks. Some other trees slated for removal are just unhealthy, state officials said.
The tree-cutting, funded by $400,000 in federal money, was delayed last week, after residents complained about the number of trees that were going to be taken down.
The Fulton County Commissioners voted to approve the project on June 6, with the requirement that ODOT consult with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and individual homeowners to determine which trees were salvageable.
Based on national regulations and advice from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, ODOT’s contractor had marked 42 trees for cutting, but it reduced the number after a reassessment of the area.
Teresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman, said representatives went door to door to discuss the project plan with residents, and to explain to them the reasons for the cutting.
By the time the project is completed in October, ODOT will plant 31 new trees in the area.