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San Francisco Residents Not Happy With Tree Maintenance Plan

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Trash bins are in front of homes in the Sunset district of San Francisco (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Trash bins are in front of homes in the Sunset district of San Francisco (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—San Francisco’s revised $6.8 billion budget now includes a little more money for tree preservation. But it won’t be enough to prevent the City from turning the maintenance of more trees on city sidewalks to private property owners in the future.

Last month residents came to a board of supervisors meeting with complaints about a plan by the Department of Public Works (DPW) to put responsibility for maintaining street trees on private property owners.

One resident protested the motion calling it “pennywise and pound foolish” and that property owners wouldn’t take care of the trees.

Another objector called the proposal “tragic” and that it was move in the wrong direction.

DPW Director Ed Reiskin argued that two-thirds of street trees are already privately maintained so why not go ahead and include all? Reiskin claimed it would be the responsible thing to do.

“What we’re proposing is not really a radical shift in responsibility for the city’s urban forest,” said Reiskin.

This year $600,000 of funding for city tree maintenance was cut from the budget. But this week supervisor Scott Weiner was able to re-secure half of that money.

“I am proud that we were able to add back half of the DPW tree cut and I want to think my colleagues for supporting that,” said Weiner.

Still that’s not nearly enough to pay for all the street trees that need attention, nor has it derailed the plan to turn the maintenance work over to private property owners.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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