Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Saving trees was the main topic of discussion during the Kingstree Beautification Commission's February 10, meeting. The commission is charged with the responsibility of assisting the town in various beautification projects and their current project is the development of a Tree Ordinance.
A Tree Ordinance has been discussed over the years; however, council formally handed the task to the commission this past November. The commission submitted the proposal to Kingstree Town Council for consideration of passage during council's February 17, meeting.
The objectives of the proposed ordinance include maintaining the town's tree canopy cover at or above its current level, enhancing the aesthetic appearance of the landscape and to provide direction and support to tree management. Having a Tree Ordinance in place is also part of the criteria when applying for Tree City USA status.
The ordinance applies to all public trees; however, some provisions of the ordinance shall apply to trees located on private property under specific and limited circumstances. For instance, public trees growing on town owned or controlled property within the South Carolina Department of Transportation street rights-of-ways, around public facilities, in parks and cemeteries.
The commission also discussed recent funds provided by Kingstree Town Council. The funds will be used for beautification purposes of participating property owners. The property owner will agree to match any funds used in a project. A project may be installing an awning, painting the facade or placing flowerpots at the entrance.
The commission will also present to council a policy that addresses a unified plan for landscaping development to include retaining, from time to time, a qualified horticulturalist to oversee the projects. However, the policy doesn't address painting and other exterior changes which if done haphazard could present a less than desirable appearance. Commission member Billy Jenkinson suggested before any project is addressed the group needs to develop a plan that will provide overall unity. "There has to be some unity," said Jenkinson. "Just do one here, and do one here, it ends up looking like a hodge-podge." The commission meets on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.