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LCDA worried about trees on Sunbury Road
A historical marker about Sunbury Road used to be surrounded by hedges in front of the Historic Midway Church. The road used to run by the church, but like around Tradeport East now, authorities are unsure of its exact route in the area. - photo by File photo

The Liberty County Development Authority board recently approved a decision to pay a slightly more than $3,000 for an arborist to examine hundreds of trees on Sunbury Road.

The arborist, Jerry Holcomb, said he would look at the hundreds of trees starting at the old Sunbury Cemetery and all the way down Sunbury Road to determine recommendations for each tree. If they are too damaged, they will have to be taken down.

“You’ve got to understand; each and every tree cannot be saved,” Holcomb said during the authority board’s monthly meeting Nov. 23. “Some trees are going to need to be removed.”

The board was required to hire an arborist to recommend care of the trees under an agreement with the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the state’s Historic Preservation Division when it received grant funds for the Target project at Tradeport East Business Center and had to move part of Sunbury Road.

“So we don’t have a choice,” board member Brian Smith said.

“Yes, sir, I think you’re correct,” Carmen Cole, LCDA’s director of administration and finance replied.

Board members were concerned that once they got the report on the condition of the trees, they would be forced to pay for tree removals and maintenance without knowing ahead of time how much to budget.

After some further discussion, the board decided to work on budgeting tree removal and maintenance for the worst trees first and then the rest over a period of time based on the upcoming report from the arborist.

The board discussed buying security gates to be placed on certain roads and access routes into Tradeport East and West.

The areas have seen repeated incidents of dumping, hunters trespassing and even parties in the wooded areas, according to Cole.

The bid for 14 gates that was suggested, some simple and some sturdier depending on where they were to be placed, was going to cost more than $12,000.

They decided to do more research on each area in which they were going to place a gate in order to determine the best gate-type options.

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