Gerdes urges tree planting on N. Sycamore

City Council
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     N. Sycamore Street resident Stu Gerdes expressed his displeasure with the city for not replacing the shade trees throughout the Sycamore Street corridor following the street reconstruction project.

     The topic came up during the reports segment of the July 6 Monticello City Council meeting. City Administrator Doug Herman informed the council that the Tree Board was sending surveys out to Sycamore Street residents regarding tree replacement. Once all of the surveys were returned, the Tree Board planned to compile the results and share with the council. In the end, a decision needs to be made in regards to where the council would like new trees to be planted.

     “We already got a significant number of responses back in a short period of time,” noted Herman. “There are lots of comments and requests (for trees).”

     If any trees are planted yet this year, it would likely be late fall. The best-case scenario is next spring. City Engineer Snyder & Associates recommends that trees not be planted over infrastructure such as sewer and water lines.

     “Is there any way we could get some input on this so it doesn’t go for a while?” asked Gerdes of the council formalizing a plan.

     Mayor Brian Wolken said if Gerdes was in a hurry to plant trees, he could always apply for a permit through the city, with advice on what type of tree to plant from the Tree Board.

     “I feel bad this project ended this way,” expressed Gerdes. “A plan should have been in place when this project started,” he said of tree plantings. “Now we’re two to three months down the road and just sending out surveys.”

     Council member Dave Goedken reminded Gerdes that the city didn’t plant trees along Second Street until the second year following the completion of that street project.

     “I just wish more people were concerned about this,” said Gerdes. “You did the city a disservice in cutting down all of those trees. You did a lot of damage to the future of this city. Those trees made a difference to the environment.”

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