Learned a new word. The grassy plot between the sidewalk and the curb is called a verge. And here comes the aggravation.
This summer, the Bala Avenue playground was closed for quite a while for renovations and repairs. We asked why the summer time was chosen for this mess and we were told that even though the private schools and day care centers do not pay taxes to Lower Merion, their people use the playground quite a bit and that no time really seemed convenient for everybody.
So, our tax dollars were used to spruce up some equipment and put in concrete pathways. Our tax dollars were also used to destroy a tree that was growing in our verge. One of the heavy cement trucks backed right into the tree and damaged it so severely that it presented a hazard and had to be taken down and carted off. Until that point, the tree served at least two purposes - it provided shade to the sidewalk and prevented cars from parking on the verge. The township cut the tree at the grassline, did not remove the stump, and took the tree away.
Talking to our commissioner, via email, and the township manager, also via email, resulted in only negative replies. Even though, the damage was caused by someone who was under contract to Lower Merion, the township, through its representatives, have refused to do anything. Nothing. Nothing at all. And, we were told that since Bala Avenue is a State highway, that's a convenient out for the township, it's only a state highway when the township doesn't want to get involved, the state would have to replace the tree because it was in the verge.
We cut the grass on the verge, and edge the side, and the township does nothing, neither does the state.
In our conversations with the township, we found out that the township is going to put in a streetlight in our verge. Remember, Bala Avenue is still a state highway, but the township is erecting the light. We even have a number, P 22, and a circle painted on our grass in the verge.
So, to sum up, our tax dollars paid for the renovations and repairs to the Bala Avenue playground, during the summer, when the neighborhood children could have used it and, our tax dollars, also paid for the destruction of one of our trees which had stood there for many years.