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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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City council uprooted in dead tree debate

Residents and city council members had a deeply rooted debate regarding the removal of dead trees on private property at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Legislation would allow the city arborist to determine if a dead tree in one’s yard poses a threat to property or public safety. The resident would then be responsible for the removal of the tree.

But the ordinance attracted heated opinions from residents on whether the government should have this authority, or if it’s an overreach, leaving council members with no choice but to table it until next week.

“I think what we need to do is have a consensus of what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Robert McOmber, council member at-large.

Some council members echoed this sentiment.

First Ward Council Member Daniel Gordon wants to see a more clear final draft with an emphasis on safety.

“We’ve had a lot of citizen feedback and we’re probably going to get more,” Gordon said. “I think we have some philosophical issues we need to work out and we have some technical issues to work out.”

During lobby time, resident Lisa Kochheiser addressed council about the potential for fracking in northwest Ohio and the negative effects that would have.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is the process of blasting a water and sand mixture into a well to fracture the rock and release resources such as oil and gas trapped in pockets of shale.

Kochheiser supports amending the city charter to ban fracking, storage of wastewater and the creation of fossil fuel production facilities such as pipelines and storage facilities in Wood County, which will be voted on the November ballot.

As a way to find common ground with Kochheiser and Protect BG, a group of citizens who garnered nearly 2,000 signatures to amend the charter, City Attorney Mike Marsh developed an ordinance to only ban fracking.

But Kochhesier doesn’t think an ordinance goes far enough.

“We know through past experiences that ordinances by themselves just aren’t enough to stop oil and gas companies,” she said to the council. “We ask for your support.”

Bruce Jeffers, at-large council member, outlined three priorities as the council members consider the approaches to the issue: the immediate safety of residents, environmental issues and the economic impact of the ordinance.

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