Council Keeps Status Quo on Trees

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There is an ordinance in Meridian requiring tree cutters operating in the city get a permit for cutting down trees, but no actual license is required.

The Meridian City Council debated amending that ordinance and heard both pro and con from the cutters themselves.

Steve Boyd of S & C Tree Service, who holds a state license, was in favor of the proposed ordinance.

"We have plumbers, electricians; we have all kinds of contractors that are required to have a license. We're only asking the same is all we're doing," said Boyd.

Charles Clearman of Charles' Tree Service, also licensed, agreed.

"When a tree gets cut here for the city by us, you require me to be licensed by the state of Mississippi to cut a tree for you," Clearman said. "You're saying you don't want a licensed person to cut a tree for the citizens of this town."

Lester Rivers, who has been cutting trees since 1963 and who is not licensed, did not agree. He showed the council a picture of a licensed cutter at work.

"He's not wearing a hard hat. He's not wearing earplugs," said Rivers. "He's not wearing chaps and he's not wearing safety glasses, but now he's a licensed certified tree cutter. I can go to the state and I can take the test, 20 questions. If I'm lucky and passed it, I'm a certified paper holder. Not a tree cutter, a certified paper holder."

But council president Barbara Henson said she had read the state code and a license in most cases is not required.

"The only reason he has to be licensed is if he advertises that he is licensed and on down it says this shall not prohibit other tree cutters from cutting trees," Henson said.

With that information the issue was decided and the license requirement was rejected.