During yesterday’s city council meeting, Tree City USA presented an award to the City of Meridian for being a Tree City for 26 years. To become a tree city, a city must be committed to planting and maintaining trees. “The city feels really good about receiving this award. A lot of cities were nominated, and Meridian, Miss., won the award. So we’re very, very happy to win this tree award with Tree City USA,” said Mayor Percy Bland.
But city council members say the award overshadows the fact that the city needs to do more to cut down hazardous, large trees.
“We get complaints almost on a daily basis, council members do. When we call those complaints in, it seems there’s just a slow thing. I know that Meridian is a Tree City, and I appreciate that. But as far as our inner city, our communities, our neighborhoods, some of these large trees that are in the right-of-way, several of them fell last week due to all the rain activity that we’ve had,” said Ward 4 City Councilwoman Kim Houston.
Houston explained that so far only property has been damaged but that things could get worse.
“Damaged cars, lives could possibly be hurt as it relates to the dangers that these trees could cause, because you never know when a tree is going to fall. So we’re asking the administration to be a little more diligent in checking those trees that are in the right-of-way, that could possibly be a danger to our community, and to address those trees and look for a way to maybe get them down.”