$95,000 bid wins out as ash trees set to fall later this year, remove potential liability for city
by Joseph Back
Ash trees will soon fall across the city, following the award of a $95,000 bid to Argonne Timber and Land LLC by the city at its Tuesday September 6 meeting, moved forward a day to account for the Labor Day holiday.
Alternative tree removal bids were also received and considered from Travis Wellner of Wellner Arboriculture along with Schunk Forestry. Argonne was the low bid overall, with owner Joe Karlen showing up to Council last February with the tree removal proposal after removing ash trees on First Avenue last year.
Ash trees are being driven to functional extinction continent wide thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer, a native of Siberia that burrows in and lays eggs, which then kill the tree after hatching into larvae as they feed on the wood to gain nutrients, depriving the tree of photosynthesis.
Typical signs of ash borer include upper crown dieback and d-shaped exit holes, while just how to dispense with the wood was among the topics at the Council. Burning was brought up as the fastest and easiest way to dispense of the material, while interested parties would have to do their own hauling, due to liability.
Following discussion, a motion was made by Jacob Huff and seconded by Laurie Foster to go with Argonne for ash tree removal, With mayor Al Haas summing up the situation.
“I don’t want to spend $90,000 or $100,000 any more than the next guy,” he said of city ash tree removal, then closing by saying it needed to be done.
Check back next week for more council updates.
Argonne Timber and Land LLC has been awarded the contract to take out the city’s ash trees, with work to start later this year.