Montgomery residents divided over tree removals - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Montgomery residents divided over tree removals

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MONTGOMERY, Vt. -

It's supposed to be the solution to a problem, but it's too much for Montgomery residents like Desiree Bergeron to take.

"I feel for the trees," she said.

Concern for safety on Reagan Road prompted the town to take down trees. Officials say it's dangerous to drive down the steep hill during mud season.

"The mud is deep, cars can't go up it, so all the people who are serviced by this road are really in trouble," said Carol McGregor, the Montgomery town tree warden.

And now, the work is underway.

"Basically what we're doing is trying to open up the road so that the in can get in, because there are a lot of trees along the sides. And then were going to be doing ditching and culvert work and that sort of thing to take care of the water," McGregor said.

Some residents couldn't be happier.

"I think the road definitely needed to be fixed," resident Chris Dixon Boles said.

"We sort of knocked loose our exhaust, you know and all these different things, as your coming up and going around all the potholes," resident Sandra Beaty said.

But while some residents welcome the sunshine in, others feel cutting down trees was not the answer.

"I feel like this is what Vermont is about; we deal with some mud, so that we have beautiful places to live," Bergeron said.

The original plan was for residents to mark trees they wanted to keep. But contractors say it was too difficult avoiding certain trees, so it was decided that all of the trees had to go. Residents were then informed about the new plan.

"If the landowner wants them, they can have them, but they have to take them themselves," McGregor said.

What some residents here on Reagan Road are concerned about is what constitutes private property and what's public. But 25 feet from this road to the right of way is public and belongs to the town, meaning they can cut down trees.

Some trees were spared.

"We were glad to see that tree, some of the mature, large trees that were right near the road, we're glad that they didn't take those," Dixon Boles said.

"There's a huge maple up there that's gorgeous, too. So, the landowner wanted to save it, so were doing that," McGregor said.

But that doesn't mend the pain for Bergeron.

"It'll be a long time before I can drive on the road and not feel it, you know. I know a lot of people are mourning it," she said.

As some mourn and others enjoy the new found view, Reagan Road is now a safer place to drive.

The town plans to have the road reopened by Wednesday.

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