County starts removal of courthouse trees
MOUNT VERNON — Five trees have been removed from in front of the Skagit County Courthouse because of what court staff said are safety and visibility concerns.
The county contracted with Stumpy Tree Service of Tacoma in late October to remove seven trees.
The cost of the removal is $8,696.
Work began over the holiday weekend when crews removed five of the seven trees, said Dan Fitting, director of county Facilities Management.
The remaining two trees will be removed by the end of the month, he said.
Lisa Tremblay, Skagit County Superior Court administrator, said the county Superior Court judges requested removal of the trees to comply with safety standards from the National Center for State Courts.
A 2014 courthouse security survey, prepared for the county by federal, state and local partners, recommends trees not exceed 8 feet in height, she said.
Further, Tremblay said the trees obscure the view of the historic courthouse, built in 1923.
Before determining whether to replace the trees, Fitting said the county will wait until spring or summer to see how the existing shrubbery grows without the trees around.