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Cost of removing Cheektowaga's dead ash trees falls on taxpayers

Cheektowaga is poised to clear thousands of dead ash trees from residential properties because the trees threaten residential safety. But the town is not about to perform the service for free, said Supervisor Diane Benczkowski.

“We’ll put it on their tax bill so there is not an expense to the town,” said Benczkowski. “We gave property owners a chance to remove the dead trees. We usually give them several notices, but now we plan to hire a subcontractor to remove them. Somebody could get killed.”

The town already has removed dead ashes from right of ways and along hiking trails in many town parks, said Mark Wegner, highway superintendent.

“They’ve been dead so long they’re hard to cut,” Wegner said. “You don’t know where they’re going to snap.”

Lawmakers are expected to approve a resolution on Tuesday to OK the tree removal program.

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