Trees Being Removed for Improvement Project

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MIFFLINBURG -- Things are looking a lot different in one Union County community.

Crews are cutting down more than 100 trees in Mifflinburg as part of a larger project to improve the downtown.

One by one, the trees that line Chestnut Street in Mifflinburg are coming down.

Crews are working their way west to east, the first step in a project that should completely makeover Mifflinburg's main thoroughfare.

Not everyone is convinced the trees, the ones marked with an "X," should go.

"The canopy of trees is part of the character of the town, and visitors remark about that often when they come to town. I hate to see all of that be lost," said Matthew Wagner.

Wagner has lived in Mifflinburg all his life and wonders if the PennDOT project really requires all the old trees to be taken out.

PennDOT says yes, in order to replace the sidewalks and curbs, the old trees must go.

Jennifer Aucker has mixed feelings about the trees.

"It definitely gives character to the downtown. I mean, Mifflinburg's such a beautiful town to begin with. I've worked here a few months now, come over the hill and it is gorgeous," she said.

Dozens of trees here on Chestnut Street, also Route 45, have already been cut down. By the end of the project, more than 100 trees that are cut down will be replaced with trees which officials consider much more manageable.

Mifflinburg Mayor David Cooney said there was little to no opposition to the plans to remove trees in order to improve everything from sidewalks to sewer and drainage.

"The trees are getting older. Many of them would have to be removed in the next five to 10 years, so it seemed like a good time to do that," said Mayor Cooney.

The more than $3 million project is scheduled to be complete by fall of 2013.