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Decorah City Council doubles the budget for tree removal

Posted: Mon, Feb 4, 2019 6:24 PM
Emerald Ash Borer

The City of Decorah has spent a little over $36,000 this fiscal year to pay for having right-of-way trees removed because of Emerald Ash Disease and other issues.  Next year, it could spend up to $80,000 removing trees.

City council members made the decision to increase the budgeted amount during their annual budget meeting Monday evening.  In addition to the $80,000 budget for removing trees, there will also be $8,000 set aside in next year's budget for planting new trees and another roughly $50,000 to pay for hiring a full-time city forester.

The moves are aimed at taking care of the Emerald Ash Borer problem as soon as possible.  City Park-Rec Director Andy Nimrod says the city has been aggressive in removing diseased boulevard trees, adding "The city is way ahead of the rest of Decorah."  Nimrod believes private property owners will soon become more serious about removing their diseased trees, so the city should be aggressive now, while contractors are still available.

City council members agreed Monday night.  They said the cost of removing trees would only get higher in the future, so now is the best time to tackle the issue.