Lombardo: 'No Animosity' After Christmas Trees Kerfuffle
Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo said Friday he ordered trees moved that were supposed to be recycled because of liability concerns. In the end, the Boy Scouts will receive donations to make up for any lost money when donated trees were burned.
The Hamilton town government and Hamilton-Wenham Green have "no animosity," Town Manager Michael Lombardo said Friday after the town burned some Christmas trees intended for recycling at Patton Park on Thursday.
Hamilton-Wenham Green has organized a tree recycling fundraiser in cooperation with the Boy Scouts.
But the Hamilton Department of Public Works moved some trees that were dropped off at Patton Park for recycling into the pile of trees that were burned Thursday night in the annual bonfire.
"Hamilton-Wenham Green and the Boy Scouts should be applauded for recycling Christmas trees," Lombardo said.
Lombardo said the trees were moved out of concern about liability, because of a fire hazard.
He also said he decided it was most expedient, given limited staff resources, to put all the trees in one pile.
"I thought that was the practical thing to do," he said.
In a letter to the editor sent to Patch on Friday night, Hamilton-Wenham Green founder Barbara Lawrence said that DPW Director John Tomasz has contacted 'Green' to express his support for the bonfire alternative and offered to make a personal donation to the Scouts to help cover the loss from any donated trees that were burned.
Lawrence said that 'Green' would also make a donation to the boy Scouts to offset the losses from the donations. It wasn't specified the donation amount in either case.
Lombardo said the town and Greg Horner, current president of Hamilton-Wenham Green, have a good working relationship.
"Greg and I support each other, there's no animosity," Lombardo said.
Horner said the recycling program is off to a good start. Even with the trees that were lost, more than 150 trees are being recycled in the program's first year, he said.
"At the end of the day, we're just happy so many people wanted to recycle their trees," Horner said. "Next year will be even bigger."
Residents can drop off Christmas trees for recycling at Patton Park through Jan. 11.
They will be chipped Wednesday, Jan. 12, with the help of the Boy Scouts, who receive $1 per tree in donations from Brick Ends Farm, which will use the chips for mulch.