Albany-- The City of Albany will take a church to court for illegally clearing trees.
Trinity Metropolitan Baptist Church recently had a contractor clear away trees on 12 acres of their property. Apparently, they broke both tree and soil erosion ordinances. The City Civil Engineering department says the site wasn't stabilized for the land clearing and the church didn't get a permit.
Runoff could clog up canals and affect water quality in the Flint River.
"It's not so much the landowners as the contractors themselves who do work in the city of Albany so they should be familiar with the local ordinances. They've been around for awhile and the firm that did this is a local firm," says Civil Engineering Project Manager Michael Talley.
Talley says most local contractors should know the proper procedure and make sure landowners have a permit before work is done but it falls on the landowner if a permit isn't applied for.
Talley says the Environmental Protection Department has become strict with ordinances so the city has to be just as tough on local people.
The church could be fined 200-dollars for breaking the tree ordinance and up to 25-hundred dollars for the soil erosion. The church cited safety concerns after break-ins as the reason for clearing the land.