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Davis Cuts City Tree Trimmers, Citizens Concerned

DAVIS (CBS13) - Davis trimmed the trimmers out of the budget. Now people are wondering who's going to keep the branches cut back.

"Me and my partner, that's all we have for the whole city," said Cory Cooper.

Cooper is half of a two-man team tasked with tree maintenance in Davis, a city with 20,000 trees.

From planting to trimming to storm clean-up, it's a non-stop, year-round job. But as of next month Cooper won't be doing it.

"I'm really curious about what they're going to do with no tree crew," said Cooper.

Cooper and his partner got hit with layoff notices Wednesday, the same day Davis voters renewed Measure D, a tax that helps fund tree maintenance.

So the big question, who's going to handle all the work?

"That's my question and I hope they talk to the people about that and let them know that the city tree crew is no longer," said Cooper.

Zann Gates knows storm season's not too far away and branches are bound to come crashing down.

"People aren't filing lawsuits because a big sycamore branch fell on their house or car or whatever," said Gates.

The city says it will continue tree trimming services, but couldn't tell CBS13 the exact plan for covering the work. The layoff notices come as Davis seeks concessions from the its employee association.

The mayor says, "Cuts can be avoided if labor negotiations find enough savings, but until negotiations are done, we have to assume the worst case."

Meanwhile, residents are hoping it doesn't come to this worst case.

"If I see a branch that needs to be cut, I'd rather call the city to come do it; but if push came to shove, I may get out there with my own," said Davis resident Janice Bridge.

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