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posted: 3/16/2012 12:11 AM

Arlington Hts. might help with ash tree treatments

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A cost-sharing program for neighborhoods treating trees against emerald ash borer took a step forward Thursday night when Arlington Heights trustees directed the village staff to develop a plan.

The board previously had decided homeowners could treat ash trees on their parkways at their own expense. There are about 13,000 parkway ash trees in the village.

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Village President Arlene Mulder made it clear the board was not making a commitment to spend any money. Although no vote was taken, Trustee Thomas Hayes was the only member of the board who said he is against having a plan brought forward. Trustee Thomas Glasgow was absent.

Cutting down and replacing all the parkway ash trees would cost about $11.5 million, the village has said.

Martin Cawley, a former member of the village board, said the municipality owns the parkway trees and is responsible for them, and no one else should treat them.

"You don't take a collection up to replace a squad car," he said.

Residents throughout the village have not reacted as strongly as expected to the threat of the insect and the option of treating trees, said Scott Shirley, director of public works.

Florian Wasik said a meeting about emerald ash borer for residents of the Berkley Square and Burr Oak neighborhoods will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at Camelot Park, 1005 E. Suffield Drive.

Laurie Taylor, president of the Northgate Civic Association, said the fight against the borer seemed to have rejuvenated her association, which has collected $19,000, enough to treat 140 of the 385 parkway ash trees in that north-side neighborhood.

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