Letter: Don’t Clear-Cut Along Our Canal

I live on a canal in Wellington. About two weeks ago, I found a stake in my back yard with a red flag on it. At that time, I called Bill Conerly, Wellington’s infrastructure manager. I was told that the Public Works Department was using a barge to dredge the canal and that they intended to remove Brazilian peppers and Australian pines in the easement. That sounded reasonable to me. Furthermore, he said that someone from that department would walk with us on our property showing us anything that they intended to remove. They intended to be considerate.

On April 29, my neighbor told me that when she called, they told her they were reclaiming their easement and had decided to clear-cut everything from the markers to the canal. I called Bill again, and was told that his boss, Public Works Director Mitch Fleury, made this decision and it was out of his hands. I have called and left messages for Mitch, and he has not returned my calls.

I understand the concerns of the Public Works Department and am prepared to accept the responsibility and the liability surrounding the removal of our trees in the event that they someday may fall down. At that time, I will not call Mr. Fleury and require him to remove them from his easement. I intend to be responsible for any trees that may fall down.

I have maintained this property for 30 years. Not once has anyone from Public Works come over and cut the easement grass.

I have recently talked to many of my neighbors on the canal. We want to see a master plan that will protect all property owners’ rights. We want to protect our right of enjoyment on all canals and waterways in Wellington.

We suggest that they come up with a less-intrusive plan. We enjoy the beauty of this land. We have enhanced it and enjoy it. Since a barge is intended to be used to dredge the canal, there is no reason to clear-cut 25 feet into our yards.

We have all paid more for our property adjacent to the lakes and canals, and this is reflected in our property taxes. We expect that the value of our property will be diminished by this proclamation from Mr. Fleury. Eye appeal has a real value. Enjoyment has a real value.

We hope we have the opportunity to discuss this issue with the Wellington Village Council before the clear-cutting begins.

By the way, 10 years ago, the head of Public Works was Mr. [Ken] Roundtree. He made the same proclamation as Mr. Fleury. We had the opportunity to bring our concerns in front of the council. They all came out to see our property and decided to leave us alone.

On Friday, Councilwoman Anne Gerwig is visiting us to get some perspective. We hope she will add some sanity to this project.

Doug Terry, Wellington



  1. Sorry, you do not own the property. It is and has always been an easement, not your property.

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