Lafayette

Feb 7, 2011 11:35 PM by Shawn Kline

New plan on the table for Youngsville oak tree

A new plan to save an historic oak tree in the way of a multi-million dollar construction project.
The tree is making the Youngsville's plan to build a traffic circle.a little more complicated but some residents in are hoping to redraw that plan around the tree. One person, right across the street, even willing to give up their front yard.

It's now known as the Youngsville Heritage Oak and its days in the yard it's been rooted in for nearly three centuries could be limited.
"There's certainly a risk and a pretty good expense to move it." Harold Schoeffler says, "and then if you move it, where?"
Schoeffler says moving the tree could cost up to $400,000. In it's place, a service road for about a month while Youngsville builds a traffic circle; leaving tree supporters with a few options.
"One of them is to put the tree in the round about." Jasara Norton says, "the other two is to put it on land on the other side of the intersection."
"I can't wake up in the morning and not see that tree," Ginger Rabalais said.
Rabalais lives right across the street and she says she's willing to give up some of her property to move the service road instead of the tree; a cost of around $60,000. Compare that number to the near $400,000 to move the tree and you can see why this new plan is "branch"ing-out fast. It's a move supporters say the mayor is in favor of too.
"I'm just a citizen and unless the council gets input from people like us, they don't know what's available," Rabalais said.
"It's great that she's stepped up and the mayor can get on board with a simple low cost resolution to this issue," Schoeffler said.
Mayor Wilson Viator was asked about this new plan but he said he wants to wait until Tuesday when tree supporters bring their idea to city council members.

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