Council OKs Tree Board Proposal, Trout Group’s Plan for Mill Creek

Dexter will replace several dozen trees this year after the City Council approved a recommendation from the Tree Board.

The city will have $12,000 available to replace 40 trees along streets in the newer subdivisions and Mill Creek and First Street parks. The Tree Board budgeted $8,000 for the replacement trees, and another $4,000 will come from DTE through a grant. The city estimated $300 per tree, which would clean out the funds.

To keep the resident cost-sharing program funded, the Tree Board asked and council approved another $4,000.

Seven companies submitted bids for the 2016 and 2017 Street Planting program,, which was posted on the Michigan Intergovernmental Trade Network (MITN). The Tree Board approved the bid from Ann Arbor Landscaping, based on the owner’s experience working with Dexter, submission of a complete bid packet and overall, the lowest bid per tree.

The replacement program follows a procedure where a resident, staff member or the DPS identifies tree/trees that are dead, dying or diseased. The tree/trees are evaluated and a determination made to rehabilitate or to remove and replace.

In 2015 the Tree Board decided to target dead, dying or diseased trees in the newer subdivisions for replacement. The board anticipates approximately 40 trees will need to be replaced. The list of replacements currently stands at 33 trees, but the list does not include all of the trees to be replaced in Huron Farms.

Through the cost-sharing program, the city and resident split the cost a new tree(s) 50/50; as a way to encourage homeowners to plant new street trees. City staff understands this program is not intended to replace trees removed by the city because they are dead, dying or diseased.
Even though the program has not been announced for 2016, residents are already making requests, in anticipation of the program having funding.

In 2015 the Tree Board began implementing a plan to planting trees in Mill Creek Park on an annual basis. Three trees were planted last year. Staff worked with Paul Evanoff on the planting locations.

This year the plan is to plant three trees in Mill Creek Park, again with Evanoff’s assistance. In regard to First Street Park, the Tree Board plans to coordinate the number and location of trees to be planted with the Park and Rec Commission.

Staff estimates there will be three trees.

Council voted 6-1 to authorize staff to execute a contract with Ann Arbor Landscaping.
Mayor Shawn Keough opposed having not been convinced Ann Arbor Landscaping was indeed the lowest bidder, Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol said.

Council supports path, stairs for trout maintenance

The council approved a letter of support to a local group wanting to install a path and stairs along Mill Creek to aid in stocking it with trout and clearing brush.

Trout Unlimited has been stocking the creek with fish and clearing brush (in a specialized way), and the path and stairs should help them continue that work, Justin Breyer, assistant to the city manager said.

“It provides access to a portion of the creek that is difficult to access right now. There should be no cost to the city to allow them to create the access point.”

The letter of support will go toward a MDEQ permit application, Breyer said.

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