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posted: 6/10/2013 5:00 AM

Village must change course on ash trees

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The village approved spending $300,000 for a flood control study but warned there are no funds for improvements.

The study will analyze the sewer system, 2011 flood and projected 10-year level storm events. What's missing is the projected loss of 13,000 ash trees that will add 28.6 million gallons of stormwater runoff yearly. Massive flooding will endure for 20-25 years until replacement trees reach maturity.

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• Why is the village spending $11.5 million to remove trees vs. $1.5-2 million to treat?

• Why is the village willing to pay $50/tree rebates to residents vs. $30/tree to treat using village staff?

• Why did the village approve funds to treat 800 trees on village property yet will not treat village-owned trees on public parkways?

• Why spend $300,000 for a flood study that will be rendered null and void with the loss of 13,000 trees?

Flooding, poor air quality, the absence of sound barriers, 10-15% decreased property values, 20-25% increased utility costs, and increased insurance premiums will have a severe long-term impact.

• Treating trees vs. removal will save approximately $9-10 million, which can be applied to sewer/flood control.

• The $1.5-2 million to treat trees in June/July is readily available in the general fund.

• Due to the drought and EAB, 500-1,000 trees of all species will be lost annually for the next few years. This will provide a moderate, natural diversification.

Mayor Hayes made the campaign promise to revisit the EAB problem. The 8/19-8/20/12 Daily Herald articles offer well-documented research. I ask the mayor to respond to my questions in Fencepost to reach all residents.

Treating trees is a necessity. These ash trees are village property and a village responsibility. The value of the entire village will be diminished. No one will buy a home in a flood-prone area, void of trees.

Treatment is urgent, it cannot wait.

Christine Sacks

Arlington Heights

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