Borough pursuing legal action for illegally removed trees

May 7—SELINSGROVE — Borough officials will pursue legal action against a resident for illegally removing four trees from his properties.

Ross Charles failed to properly seek permission from the borough's Shade Tree Commission to remove the large trees located within the borough's right-of-ways from Susquehanna Avenue properties, said assistant borough Manager Shari Badman.

Borough Solicitor Robert Cravitz advised the council Monday that under the municipality's ordinance, a maximum fine of $1,000 and 90 days in jail for each violation could be imposed.

Council member Erik Viker expressed concern that while some residents may be able to afford the fine, others would struggle to come up with the money and asked if the borough could amend the ordinance.

"Can council say there is no fine and only jail" for violating the ordinance, he asked.

Cravitz said a district judge would be responsible for deciding what, if any, penalty would be imposed.

"I doubt if any magistrate is going to throw anyone in jail for cutting down trees," he said.

Charles could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Badman said the application for tree removal on borough property, easements and right-of-ways is free and available on the municipality's website.