Hooksett officials continue to explore options over tree-cutting operationBy MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent August 29. 2017 11:30PM
HOOKSETT — Town officials are looking into a tree-cutting issue that has some neighbors concerned.
Tim Trimbur was in the process of clearing timber from a lot between Hackett Hill Road and Valley View Drive when he received a cease-and-desist order from the town. Town officials believed Trimbur might have taken some trees that were in the town’s right of way without proper permission.
Trimbur did have a permit to cut on the privately owned piece of land — the only permission he needed in that instance. Trimbur is cutting the trees to clear a portion of the privately owned land and to make money from the sale of the timber.
He has since been able to start the tree-cutting operation back up because the town did not technically have the authority to tell him to stop, Town Administrator Dean Shankle said.
“When it came to the council and we attempted to exercise real authority, an attorney pointed out we didn’t have the authority to do that,” said Shankle. “There was nothing the town could do; we never had control over that property.”
The issue stems from ownership of the right of way.
“The owner of the land is not clear, which is one of the things we’re working on,” Shankle said.
The town is seeking to have the right-of-way designated as a public road, which would give Hooksett authority over the land. But exactly what legal action, if any, the town will take, remains uncertain. Shankle said there have been some ideas discussed, but nothing he could make public as of yet.
“We’re doing it as quickly as we can; know it’s an ongoing issue,” Shankle said. “I don’t think we have a specific time-frame, but we’re working on it every day.”
Neighbors have shared their concerns as well, specifically about the safety of the operation.
The work is being done near a bus stop, and some area residents worry that neighborhood children might be injured if they venture onto the property where the tree cutting is being done.
Other safety concerns referenced abutting Corriveau Drive. “If a tree went down and I needed to have an ambulance come up here, I would be out of luck,” said resident Toni Hoy.
Some neighborhood residents said they don’t think the work should be allowed there at all.
“The problem is that the logger is squatting on unowned land at this point, and he’s created a log cutting operation on this property,” resident Kevin Vanhorn said. “If this logger was using this right of way to the land in the back, I don’t think the residents of Corriveau would have a major problem with it.”
Trimbur said he’s willing to work with the town to solve any issues or misunderstandings.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, so I try to do everything thoroughly,” he said.