UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KSDK) - Two trees are at the center of a new controversy in the Loop Trolley project.
The Loop Trolley Company wants to remove a large sycamore tree from outside the University City Public Library, and a pear tree on the opposite end of the Delmar portion of the proposed trolley route.
"Anybody can come in and say 'I'm so and so and so and so and I'd like to cut down a tree.' Uh-uh," says former University City Councilwoman Elsie Glickert.
Crews cut a line of trees down earlier this week on DeBaliviere as part of the right of way for Loop Trolley. It will go from the Missouri History Museum through the Loop to the library. A proposal to have the city manager sign off on the Loop Trolley Company cutting down two trees on Delmar for the same reason goes to U-City City council Monday.
"They have no authority to do that. The federal transportation administration has not approved it. And there's a lawsuit on this line," Glickert said.
She's one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit to put the brakes on the trolley. One other critic says removing the tree would be irresponsible.
"The city council is being pressured into this. What's the big rush? There's nothing urgent about this."
The project received nearly $25 million in federal grants, but the feds threatened to take that money back because of lack of significant progress.
We spoke with University City mayor Shelley Welsch on the phone and she says removing the tree would not be irresponsible. She says city council has been approving this project, and this is just another step in getting it done. Beyond that, she didn't want to comment before Monday night's meeting.