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Arnold Bay tree-cutting deal to be discussed

FERRISBURGH — Members of the Ferrisburgh selectboard are due to meet with town attorney Jim Carroll to discuss a resolution of the town’s dispute with the Vorsteveld Farm over its extensive tree-cutting in the town right of way along Arnold Bay Road.
On Tuesday the board set the meeting with Carroll for 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, and it probably will take place behind closed doors. According to Ferrisburgh Selectboard Chairwoman Loretta Lawrence, Carroll has prepared a proposal for the town to present to the owners of the Vorsteveld Farm.
Neighbors in the Arnold Bay Road area were upset by the clear-cutting of the trees and shrubs along the east side of the dirt road, which the farmers said they thought they had the right to do to improve drainage of and extend farm fields.
A state statute, however, prohibits cutting of “shade trees” in town rights of way and calls for extensive fines, depending on how the plantings the Vorstevelds removed are defined.
Lawrence said she hopes a town proposal can be step forward toward a resolution.
“We’re fine-tuning,” she said, adding, “We’re getting close. It’s time to get it straight.”
Also at this past Tuesday’s selectboard meeting, board members discussed upcoming mowing along some town roads to improve driving visibility and safety. With an eye toward the same issue along Arnold Bay Road, the board requested road foreman John Bull to consult with tree warden Cliff Mix before work began.
“We want to make sure after the Vorsteveld issue we’re doing our due diligence in protecting shade trees,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said residents can expect to see work to begin along some roads soon.
“It doesn’t look pretty when you first go through and cut stuff, but eventually it greens up,” she said.
CORRECTION: This story has been changed since posted. The original article incorrectly stated the owners of the Vorsteveld Farm and the Ferrisburgh town attorney have been discussing a resolution of the disagreement between the parties. Lawrence emailed the Independent this weekend to clarify her remarks re: the Nov. 21 meeting of the board with the town attorney Jim Carroll to discuss a possible resolution. The meeting will be to review a proposal, Lawrence said. “We are fine-tuning what we hope to present to the Vorstevelds at some point in time, soon,” she wrote, adding, “I should have been clearer with that point. We have not been negotiating yet.” The Independent apologizes for the mistake.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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