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Village Considering Hiring Contractor for Tree Removals

"Whatever we're doing doesn't seem to be working," Mayor Paul Aronsohn said.

With the , the council has tasked department heads to think of new ways to tackle troublesome trees in town.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Tim Cronin on Wednesday night said the results of an RFP to potentially hire two separate contractors to work on trees cost $229,000.

The plan, as outlined by Cronin, called for Downes Tree Service and Andy Matt Tree Service to attend to cutting, pruning and removing trees two days a week, along with a supervising village worker recently hired.

The council held off on forking over the money toward that plan and instead has requested the village issue another RFP to have a contractor clear the 140 or so trees throughout the village scheduled to be removed by the Parks Department.

"Whatever we're doing doesn't seem to be working," Mayor Paul Aronsohn said. "We need to think differently."

Seasonal workers might round out the workforce while the village queries bids. For the $229,000 figure, Cronin said it's likely a private contractor could remove all the trees.

The council will also be discussing a revised shade tree policy in the coming months. 

AMAMOM September 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Each one of these 140 trees is a multimillion dollar lawsuit waiting to happen. Remember the family destroyed by a tree in Central Park? That tree hadn't even been identified by the Conservancy for removal. Imagine the liability if a tree that has been identified falls on someone!
Ridgewooder September 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I could not agree more. The council is always complaining about not having enough money...when a limb on one of their trees breaks of a cracks open some unfortunate persons head and leaves them dead or paralyzed for life then we'll see about not having enough money.
jp1 September 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM
This is why all towns carry insurance.
Gscott September 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM
The Mayor is right!!! What he and the Council and the Village Manager are doing ISN'T working. The Mayor, Council and Village manager have been too busy gutting these important Village departments like Parks and Rec, Buildings, etc, to the point where its impossible for them to be effective. So now what, are you going to privatize all of Parks and Rec? Yet, how does the overstaffed, over-indulged police and fire departments go unscathed from your hatchets?? Tell the truth Mayor. Seeking higher office maybe? How does the police and fire departments get 4% raises and the rest of the village works get 0% this year, and 1% next? You privatized the Water's Edge Cafe at Graydon, and what did it do for us? 65% higher prices to eat the same food at Graydon. Mayor, everyone knows you're a left over hack from the Governor McGreavy days. Take your politics somewhere else.
jp1 September 10, 2012 at 01:14 PM
This is nothing new it has been going on a long time. I also think your complaints should be against the village manager as he is in charge of negotiating contracts not the mayor.
RdgwdGRock September 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM
hmmmm....here is a thought" what do other towns do? perhaps partner with glen rock, ho-ho-kus, etc. on a shared services plan. just saying
None of Your Business September 10, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The people that complain about the police and fire departments do they understand that these people have families, homes they also pay Ridgewood taxes on and put children through college. They are just trying to make ends meat like everyone else!! Know all the facts before you make negative comments about these hard working guys just like u if you work. Seems u just sit home with nothing to do but comment about everyone else or maybe your playing golf at Ridgewood Country Club this afternoon? Don't think any firemen or police men belong to that club!!
R.Decastro September 10, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I didn't even know that there is a department that takes care of the trees by pruning , trimming, etc. I have been living in Ridgewood for 40 years and have never seen the 3 trees infront of our house pruned . In fact the 2 trees are dying, and told Ridgewood Park Dept about this 1 1/2 years ago and nothing had happened.
Fan of Ridgewood September 10, 2012 at 04:16 PM
i wouldnt begrudge any policeman anywhere what he makes. I wouldnt take the risks and second guessing they endure for double the salary.
Gscott September 10, 2012 at 05:33 PM
R.Decastro... that's because they've gutted this department... they can't keep up with the work load... and its all by design of the elected officials and the village manager. None of your business... guess again... I have to work two jobs to make ends meet and I'm not a member of ANY country club and NO I don't work for the Village...would you, after you see the way they treat their employees (other than police and fire)??. I have nothing but respect for policemen and firemen. But the Mayor, Council and Village Manager can't continue to hack away at other village departments, gut them to barebones operations, then look to privatize their functions when they believe the current staff can't get the job done...THEN, not look at ways of trimming the Police and Fire departments. According some, our police and fire departments are larger than they need to be. The RWD manager got a big raise (around $25k) and was paid for by laying off other village employees who also have families and college tuitions to pay. More over, we spend a lot of money for our police and fire, and a previous poster mentioned that we should consider partnering. Sadly, the police and fire bosses exhausted their budgets every year because if they don't spend it, they lose it for the following year . Ridgewood is only 1 of 5 Bergen County towns with a fully paid fire department. Maybe we need look at having some volunteers, like most other towns in Bergen County.
longtimer66 September 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Years ago, Village planted many trees that were retroactively deemed homeowner's property, often they are on house side of sidewalk though not always. Most owners were never notified these were now their responsibility. And of course many properties have changed hands numerous times over the years. So, it's no wonder many folks don't know that tree out front may already be yours. Many hang over roads and are in bad shape now. Also you can often see loose "hanger" branches in them which the right gust of wind will easily bring down into streets or onto people or cars etc. Just look up and you can see many around town. Village needs to put owners of such trees on notice they must trim them or face consequences of existing law. (Viillage can then trim and put a lien on owner's property for costs per the law). Many folks don't know Village used to have a shade tree commission. Leuning Park is named after the guy who ran it for ages. They planted many trees that originally WERE Village's responsibility- that changed quietly many years later. Trees are great, but owners need to take responsibility for regular care and maintenance of them. If not, existing law provides way Village can do it without general cost to taxpayers. It's a public safety imperative-- both as to your own property, your neighbors, and others passing by.
Paul September 10, 2012 at 06:37 PM
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Paul September 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I went in front of the Town Council one month ago to inform them of a Dead Old Town tree at 60 N. Irving St. They told me that this tree was on the top of there list. The tree is still there, But Saturdays storm sent big branches all over the street, sidewalk were kids walk allday long.Also major branches landed all over the Steven Field Astro Turf that we Taxpayers spent Thousands of $$$ to install.!! Please remove this dead town tree before someone gets injured! Thank you Mayor I think you are doing your best for Ridgewood!
JAFO September 10, 2012 at 07:55 PM
RWD doesn't have a "fully" paid fire department. There are several volunteers and I invite you to join too.
Ellie Gruber September 10, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Sadly the article only mentions removing trees, not planting. We need more trees in town, not fewer. We need an effective tree ordinance, and all council members, past and present expressed support, so thank you to our elected officials for your support of a newly crafted tree ordinance. Hopefully, it will be in effect before too long. Yes, we need to put more money back into parks department.
Long Time Resident September 11, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Gscott.....it is clear that you are the political hack here and most likely a Village employee. I see you posted your comment at 9:10 AM today how about you focus on your job instead of posting your crap on bloggs
Long Time Resident September 11, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Gscott, No one believes your claim that you don't work for the Village. You state that "According some, our police and fire departments are larger than they need to be. " Ok state your sources! Who says that and what, if any, expertise do they have if any?
Ridgewooder September 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Public safety needs to be priority #1 for our government. The trees pose the greatest public safety danger in our community, the recent break-ins notwithstanding.

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