Kingfisher Beautification Effort Leaving Some Uprooted

Monday, February 14th 2011, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

Rusty Surette, News 9

KINGFISHER, Oklahoma – The city of Kingfisher is literally going green, but the trees are causing trouble for many of the town's residents.

The controversial trees aren't in Kingfisher yet, but there's already a sign of what's to come and people aren't happy.

Several have approached the city council and told them they're not pleased with the plans to spruce up downtown. Part of that plan is to put trees along the sidewalks where vehicles park. Business owners on Main Street say parking space is already limited and the trees will just add to the problem.

"Without downtown Kingfisher there would be no Kingfisher. It's our identity. But I don't think our identity is locked into having trees on Main Street," said Carolyn Dalbow, a Kingfisher business owner.

Even the mayor admitted the city probably made a mistake by going green without getting the green light from residents first. But in the end the council members are going to keep plans in place and give the trees a chance. For some, that's great news.

"The trees are the key component to this beautification effort. Without it it's a gutted proposal. With it, it's a success for something that's been a long time coming," said Brian Walters, a Kingfisher business owner.

Many residents said they don't mind the trees going up in downtown, just not in parking spots.

Federal grants, stimulus money and city taxpayer dollars are paying for the project.