City Council looks into nuisance complaints

Friday, November 9, 2018

City Council looked into what it could do about complaints on everything from aluminum around trees to dust from the grain elevators this month.

A tree in question on Main Street has received attention for its reflective material wrapped around and nailed to the base of a tree on the city right-of-way.

“The trees in this city are considered gods,” Mayor Al Clark said at Tuesday’s meeting. “You cannot trim or touch a tree unless you have permission.” He said that someone has been wrapping the tree to keep squirrels off their roof—what may be a pointless feat given the proximity of other tree branches that connect squirrels to a highway of their own.

Concerns swirled that wrapping the tree would be harmful to its health, besides being an eyesore. The material could trap moisture and harbor insects, leading to soft or rotting spots underneath over time, Clark said.

Councilman Denny Weber said, ordinance does not specifically prohibit the act—only trimming or cutting trees. “You wanted to hang your hat on city ordinances,” Weber said, as Clark looked up the language of the actual ordinance in question.

“It’s not aesthetically pleasing, it makes us look like a podunk town,” he said after the meeting. “I just figured you can’t just go and do whatever you want to city property.”

Other concerns brought to the mayor’s attention include complaints to the Department of Natural Resources about dust control around the grain elevators.

“It boils down to, as long as elevators are doing their ‘due diligence’ to keep dust down, it’s fine,” Clark said.

Councilman Kevin Walsh disagreed that the elevators are doing everything they can to keep the dust down.

Concerns about Highway 7 construction were also brought up by Gloria Sanders in open forum. She has been in touch with the Department of Transportation, who told her that contractors would be working on the concerned areas in Alta this week as long as there is no rain.