Sulphur warning residents to trim overgrown trees - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sulphur warning residents to trim overgrown trees

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Pictures taken by the City of Sulphur show the problem of overhanging trees and overgrown bushes blocking streets and sidewalks.

"It's all over. Even on my own street," said Mayor Chris Duncan.

Duncan said it's a problem that needs to be addressed because it's becoming a safety hazard for fire trucks and school buses. According to law, property owners are responsible for maintaining the trees.

"The reason the problem is so big is because property owners do not know that it is their responsibility to keep the trees trimmed off the roads and sidewalks," said Veronica Allison, Sulphur City Council.

The last time a major trimming was done was more than 10 years ago. The cost at that time was $300,000. Not only have the trees gotten bigger, but the cost to cut them down has also grown tremendously.

"It's expensive as you can tell. If you take inflation and put back with the $300,000 -- it's likely to be half a million dollars," said Duncan.

Meanwhile, Sulphur's city attorney is checking into whether there are criminal fines associated with the ordinance. Regardless, Mayor Duncan said residents need to be warned of the problem and urgency to fix it.

"If we have to send everyone of these people letters to advise them of this problem, we are fixing to send out probably thousands of letters. And this isn't just a City of Sulphur problem. This is all over Southwest Louisiana and if they haven't been trimmed in this long... It's a big undertaking," said Duncan.

One suggestion brought up Monday night was to get a bulk bid on what the job would cost -- to save residents and the city money. Mayor Duncan said he would like feedback from the council members within in 10 days so they can begin creating an action plan on how to move forward.

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