Casper City Council Will Do More Work on Arborist Ordinance
The Casper City Council decided at its Tuesday work session that it will further refine a proposed ordinance about the regulations and licensure of commercial arborists next week.
The city began reviewing the ordinance when an uncertified person provided an arborist service while working on a tree and a large branch fell on a man and killed him.
City staff met with the daughters of the deceased man and representatives of local tree service companies.
Most tree service companies asked for increased training requirements, certification by the International Society of Arborticulture, higher liability insurance, and higher Workers' Compensation insurance. Most tree service companies asked for increased training requirements, certification by the International Society of Arborticulture, higher liability insurance, and higher Workers' Compensation insurance.
Most arborists wanted the ordinance to require a certified arborist be present for the performance of "aerial operations" on trees.
The amendment passed city council on the first two readings. Family members of the man who died and representatives from tree service companies urged the council to make the changes.
But at the Oct. 15 meeting, the council tabled the proposed ordinance on third reading because those working on the changes asked for a friendly amendment to reduce the red tape for trimming boulevard trees -- the trees on the strip of public land between the sidewalks and the streets, Parks and Recreation Director Tim Cortez told the council.
"It's kind of a weird deal where you see things blended up," he added.
As it stands, the ordinance would require a permit unless the non-aerial trimming is done by the homeowner or relative. The group wants to expand this to include a licensed commercial arborist hired by the homeowner.
Mike Huber said the proposed ordinance is for the public safety including regulating and licensing commercial arborists, but was concerned about what applied to a private property owner or a business.
There also was a concern by Steve Cathey that someone who worked on trees for years should be able to do the work of a licensed commercial arborist for demolition work, but Huber wondered how the city could evaluate such situations.
Ordinances should have consistent language throughout, Huber said.
Cortez said he talked to Donna Hoffman of the University of Wyoming Extension Office who wants more work done on the details of the ordinance.
The city, Cortez said, still needs to work on the ordinance, but that could be done later.