VANDALISM? CORRUPTION? HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO TURN? NO STORY TO BIG OR SMALL THE OSN WILL INVESTIGATE! Please email news tips to Hildelysiak@gmail.com
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
A local business owner who might get fined a 1,000 dollars for cutting a tree down on his property is ready to tell his side of the story!
The trouble began when Nate Fisher, owner of Vivace Music at 28 N Market St, thought he was improving the landscape when he recently cut down a tree on N Market
“I assumed the tree was part of my landscaping. I didn’t even think that it would belong to the borough…,” Fisher told the Orange Street News.
Fisher told the News he was removing the tree because it was blocking the sunlight and not allowing other plants to grow.
Fisher says he has put more than $100,000 of his own money into the property and went through all the proper permits along the way and that he was not being careless about the tree’s removal.
“I really care about plants/the environment and took great care in selecting what was planted…I put a sign up (like I did with the mural) as a curtesy to passersby so they wouldn’t think I was removing the tree without replacing it. I did the same thing with the mural so people wouldn’t think we were just painting over it.,” Fisher said.
But the Selinsgrove borough needs to know when and give approval before any tree is cut down, according to Borough Manager Paul Williams.
‘’It’s a violation of the Shade Tree Commission,’ Williams told the OSN.
According to the Borough, The Shade Tree Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees on borough property along the streets and highways and is authorized to plant, remove and maintain, and protect shade trees.
Fisher made his case on his Facebook page:
“After it [the tree] was down, someone contacted me to ask if I had a permit to remove the tree. I said that I didn’t, then immediately (proactively) contacted Paul Williams to apologize and asked him what steps he would like me to take next. He said to halt further action (stump grinding and replanting) and await further instruction. So I did. He came in a couple days later, said, “Fill out this permit and call PA One Call before grinding the stump.” So I did. Never did I hear from the Shade Tree Commission and never did I hear from Joe.
It has not been confirmed yet that he will get the fine. Fisher will attend a hearing to tell his side.
“I’m not saying what I did should be ignored or glossed over. There was a rule in place and I unintentionally broke it. I’m not laying blame on anyone else, I accept that what happened was my fault; I’m saying the facts of the situation should be taken into consideration to determine the final outcome, and I don’t appreciate how everyone else involved has handled the situation to date,” said Fisher.
Fisher had planned to plant another tree in the same spot, but his plans are now on hold until borough says its okay.