BEATRICE – Beatrice property owners with ash trees on public right-of-way can have the city cut them down, but you need to act promptly.
City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says property owners need to first sign a release form. City Street Superintendent Jason Moore says his crews plan to start taking out ash trees on public right-of-way, around November 15th. The work is planned to go on through next April 1st.
Tempelmeyer says some letters have already gone out to homeowners in the areas of 6th to 19th, and Dorsey to Monroe.
:08 “be gone”
Cities are dealing with taking out ash trees because of the emerald ash borer, an insect that infects and kills the trees. The ash borer is yet to be detected in Beatrice, but city officials are trying to get ahead of the problem.
Street Superintendent Moore says there are over 500 ash trees on public right-of-way, in the city. He says it may take five years to take out all of them.
:09 “out of some time”
The city will cut the trees as close to the ground as possible, but property owners will have to take care of stump removal, if necessary. Tempelmeyer says the city is starting the work prior to the insect’s arrival, and the potential of becoming a quarantined community.
:24 “burn them”
Moore says his crews are planning to chip smaller branches on site, and haul the larger logs to a stockpile area along Center Street. As time allows, the logs would be hauled to the landfill, or made available for firewood.
BPW Chairman Dave Eskra says it’s a hard problem to address.
Public works officials say the cutting is a service being provided, not something the city is legally obligated to do.