Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big Fine for Smithfield's in Raleigh

Smithfield's Chicken 'N' Bar-B-Q SauceThe city of Raleigh handed out a $17,000 fine for over pruning their trees to Smithfield's Chicken N Bar-B-Q.
The owners said they were trying to make the restaurant on Jones Sausage Road look nice after employees noticed some limbs were browning among the nearly 40 trees on the property. They said they did not even know the city had an ordinance governing pruning.

“I think we do a fantastic job on keeping our landscaping nice and neat,” manager Scott Booe said.

The city disagreed.

"$17,000 — it's a lot to deal with,” Booe said. “I mean, that is your bottom line for a month."

City inspectors said the cuts to the trees hurt branch formation and bud placement.
One asks themselves why there even is a city department that inspects for pruning. It's their land, they should be able to maintain their own property as they see fit.

And how the heck did they come up with the amount of $17,000? Is pruning a few trees really the equivalent crime as 170 speeding tickets? There's only one place these fines can come from. Smithfield's either has to reduce its expenses and cut jobs, or raise its prices. That $17,000 fine could be better utilized as a job for a Smithfield's employee than lining the coffers of the city.

Perhaps we should all send a bottle of Smithfield's Chicken & BBQ Sauce to the Raleigh City Council to show our displeasure with their policies. You can also drop Mayor Meeker a quick note: Charles.Meeker@ci.raleigh.nc.us

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