$120,000 set aside for tree-cutting.


Byline: Nick Kotsopoulos

WORCESTER - The City Council has appropriated $120,000 to address the backlog of city trees that need to either be taken down or trimmed because they have been deemed hazardous.

According to city officials, 99 trees need to be removed, 94 need trimming and 79 tree stumps need to be removed.

Robert L. Moylan Jr., commissioner of public works and parks, said the estimated cost to remove each tree is about $1,200.

In addition to the existing backlog, the commissioner said the Forestry Division has 213 requests for additional tree inspections.

"Forestry (Division) simply does not have the resources to respond to this backlog, along with new requests, in a timely fashion," Mr. Moylan told the City Council Tuesday night.

With the additional appropriation, the commissioner said the Forestry Division will be able to conduct the 213 tree inspections over the next three weeks, and respond to each resident in writing as to their findings.

He said the Forestry Division will also trim the 94 trees currently backlogged as needed over the next four months, and bids will be sought for the removal of the 99 hazardous trees.

It is anticipated that those trees will be removed by a contractor over the next two months, depending on the weather.

The commissioner said the work to remove the 79 tree stumps - those are in addition to ones the city has already contracted to have removed - will not go forward until the spring. He said $30,000 has been set aside in the budget for removal of the stumps that have already been contracted for.

Some city councilors had raised concerns about the growing backlog of city trees that need to be taken down or trimmed.

They complained that the city was not responding to forestry demands in a timely manner citywide because most of its resources had been allocated to the Burncoat/Greendale area, which has had to deal with the Asian longhorned beetle...

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