Tree Removed at Gatchell Museum Was Safety Hazard

The tree removed at the Jim Gatchell Museum recently was a safety hazard. Photo courtesy of Johnson County.
The tree removed at the Jim Gatchell Museum recently was a safety hazard. Photo courtesy of Johnson County.

Public sentiment has been against the removal of old trees from the Johnson County Courthouse and Jim Gatchell Museum Premises, but one tree that was removed near the museum recently was definitely a public safety hazard, according to County Sanitarian Rick Durfee.
He said the problem with the tree surfaced when the trimmer began working on it and discovered problems.
The issue with the trees came up at a county commissioner's meeting earlier this fall when the commissioners voted to remove the old cottonwood tree in the courthouse parking lot and to have a number of other trees trimmed.The costs involved with trimming the trees, and the potential liability with the old trees as a public safety concern prompted the decision to remove the older, larger trees.
Public outcry against removing the old cottonwood changed the commissioners' opinions on removing the tree.
The cottonwood near the museum was discovered to be dangerous to leave standing, and the decision was made to remove the tree.
Durfee said trees will be planted to replace those removed.
According to Durfee, trimming of other trees on the courthouse/museum property will be done in the Spring.

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