Carbondale Debates Rules for Tree Trimmers
JACKSON COUNTY— The May 8 storm five years ago put a spotlight on tree trimming scams.
Some people were looking to make a buck, without proper insurance or experience. Since then, Carbondale leaders have been divided on regulating the industry. The council discussed a proposed ordinance on the issue at Tuesday’s meeting.
Leaders are still not sure there's a need for regulations like this. Neither are tree trimmers themselves.
Tree trimming is his way of life for Michael Kasky. He's fully insured and proudly shows it on work trucks.
“I've never had anything serious, but I've also been trained properly,” he shared.
Kasky already pays fees to do business in other towns. It costs him $50 a year in Murphysboro. He sees the benefit in regulating the industry because it protects consumers and helps stop scams.
“It proves you're fully insured, all the stuff credentials and know what you're doing, so you're not risking your community or your homeowners,” added Kasky.
It's a dangerous business, with little margin for error.
“Your house might get destroyed in about two seconds if it's done wrong. Or somebody, one of the workers, could possibly get killed,” Brent Schlosser, owner of Boskydell Tree Service. explained.
That's why longtime trimmers take as many precautions as possible. Measures that already add up.
“If I have to pay a permit or fee in each city that could get quite costly,” Schlosser advised.
He worries about how fees impact his bottom line.
“The state doesn't require a permit or tax as a tree service so why should I have to pay that?” he wondered, “I think a lot of that is paranoia stemmed from the May 8 storm.”
At the latest council meeting, Carbondale leaders made it clear this regulation is far from passing.
“It does not seem wise to create a law that will be impossible to enforce,” Councilwoman Jane Adams urged.
“It seems like that’s a violation as a citizen to do what I want with my property, within reason,” Councilwoman Corene McDaniel admitted.
The proposed ordinance would require an annual fee to be licensed in Carbondale. All tree trimmers would need to have proof of insurance and give written estimates.
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