The $209,000 budget surplus for the town of Woodside has more than doubled with the cashing of a check for $212,500, delivered to Town Hall by hand on June 22.
The Town Council on June 14 assessed the $212,500 fine against Rudolph Koppl, the former owner of an undeveloped property at 205 Mountain Wood Lane, for the felling of 22 significant trees on his property at without having first obtained a permit.
Mr. Koppl no longer owns the property but admitted, through his attorney, that he was the owner when the trees were felled and that he violated the town's municipal code. He appealed the fine to the council, which upheld the penalty.
Town Manager Kevin Bryant confirmed receipt of the check, that the money goes to the town's general fund, and that it doubles the surplus projected for the 2016-17 budget year.
At the end of the June 28 council meeting, Councilwoman Anne Kasten raised a question for later discussion: taking money acquired in defending the town's core values -- in this case, respect for the environment, for the structure of the town and for its trees -- and using it for "something that would be really special for the town, that reflects the values of the town."
Improving safety for pedestrians would be an example, she said.