City works to remove and replace ash trees
By Sarah Nigbor
RIVER FALLS – The River Falls City Council voted to designate the Pierce County Journal as the city.s ocial newspaper at the May 10 meeting.
The Journal has oces in River .alls (1.91 Sutherland Ave.) and Ellsworth (371 W. Main St.) with a press run of 3,772 newspapers per week. Formerly the Prescott Journal, Publisher John McLoone expanded coverage to the entire county two years ago. The newspaper has been published continuously since 1855 and is continuing to grow its circulation at a rapid rate with a dedication to hometown, local news.
The Pierce County Journal is part of a locally owned family publishing company called Paperboy News, with publications in Stanley, Wis. and Hastings and Cottage Grove, Minn.
Trees, trees, trees
In City Administrator Scot Simpson’s report to the city council, he outlined the process Public Works has been following to remove ash trees throughout the city, due to Emer- ald Ash Borer infestation. Sta have been removing infected and healthy ash trees in corporate parks, city parks and in city right-of-ways.
Sta removed about 25 ash trees in Whitetail Corporate Park. Stumps are in the process of being removed and the holes restored. The next round of tree removal will occur in the Sterling Ponds neighborhood.
Contracted tree remover Sav A Tree has removed 50 ash trees from the North Apollo Road and Sunset Lane area. Trees will be planted starting May 9 and should take about a month to complete.
The city anticipates removing 100 more infected ash trees this year and will replant trees in most of these locations.
In partnership with the city, the River Falls State Bank planted .ve evergreens on the roundabout at Cemetery Road and Wasson Lane.
The National Honor Society (NHS) worked with the city to purchase more than 500 trees and sell them to River Falls High School students and families. NHS then helped the Forestry Department at Earth Fest by giving away more than 500 trees to those who attended. Also, at Earth Fest, Valley View Tree Plantin, helped educate customers on how to properly plant a tree, by planting four trees in Glen Park.
Lastly, the city worked with Tattersall to promote their give-away of 1,000 trees. The Mayor and City Council passed a proclamation recognizing Arbor Day in the City of River Falls on April 29, 2022.
• Mayor Dan Toland proclaimed May 15-21 National Public Works Week and May 9-13 Economic Development Week.
•Toland reappointed Amy Halvorson to the BID Board through December 2024.
• Toland appointed Chris Lick to .ll a vacancy on the Utility Advisory Board through May 2025.
• Alderperson Scott Morrissette commended Public Works Director Mike Stifter for volunteering his time, going above and beyond on a recent Saturday to assist the Rotary Club in refreshing Veterans Park. The group added new mulch and picked up trash.
• The council approved a resolution modifying the contract with SRF Consulting Group Inc. to include the Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan. The city is updating three plans: The 2005 Comprehensive Plan, the 1995 Bike and Pedestrian Plan, and the 1995-2000 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan. The city selected SRF Consulting Group, Inc., teamed with Alta Planning + Design for their experience and expertise in public engagement, land management, design, communication, engineering, public realm, park planning, bicycle and pedestrian planning and implementation. The contract’s total amount is for $198,881.08; of that amount, $60,000 is for the Bike & Ped Plan.
• Playground installation projects are expected soon at Spring Creek, Knollwood, Brandan’s, and Glen parks. Sta will review the Wells Park neighborhood survey and begin making plans for a project there.