QUESTION: Are tree trimming and removal businesses required to haul away the removed material? How is the city to know that a pile of debris has been placed at the street by a homeowner or by a contractor?

ANSWER: The answer to your first question is simple: yes. That requirement is laid out in East Baton Rouge ordinance Sec. 6:386.1, which says any person or entity engaged in a service felling or trimming a tree is responsible for removing the debris. They cannot just leave it by the street for the city-parish’s trash haulers.

If the tree service contractor refuses to haul the debris, then the property owner is responsible for the removal. Violation can bring a fine of up to $500 or six months in prison or both. (A “Notice to Readers” about that ordinance is published daily by The Advocate’s classified ads section under the Tree Service category.)

The answer to your second question — how to determined who cut the tree — is more nuanced: when someone ’fesses up.

Robert B. Hearn, environmental engineer for the city-parish Department of Public Works, says that if you cut or trim a tree yourself on your own property, then you can leave the debris for the trash haulers. That service is included in the $19 a month residents pay for garbage and trash pickup. But if you pay a contractor, they’ve got to remove the debris.

Sometimes a neighbor or trash haulers will alert DPW about possible violations: homeowners who claim they cut down the tree, but it really was done by a contractor.

“We do make an effort to try to investigate it,” Hearn said.

So, if you’re going to flout the law, be nice to your neighbors.

QUESTION: With the amount of traffic on College Drive and Corporate Boulevard due to the success of Towne Center, does the state of Louisiana plan to construct an Interstate 10 Corporate Boulevard exit?

ANSWER: Dustin Annison, public information officer with the state Department of Transportation and Development, says the agency does not have a project in the statewide transportation plan to build an exit from I-10 to Corporate.

“The I-10 interchange at College Drive will be studied as part of a comprehensive study of the I-10 corridor from La. 415 to Essen Lane on I-10 and I-12,” Annison said. “The study is being done to identify possible improvements that can be made to facilitate better traffic flow on I-10. The study is underway and is scheduled to be complete in summer 2016.”

For more information on the study, visit www.i10br.com.

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