Preserving Trees Could Cost St. Charles More Than $100,000
Drought, storms have taken toll on newly planted trees.
City aldermen unanimously approved an expenditure of more than $100,000 to preserve newly planted trees in St. Charles affected by storms and drought conditions.
During Monday night’s Government Operations Committee meeting St. Charles Public Services Manager Peter Suhr outlined efforts to save drought-stricken trees planted on public land within the past few years. Those efforts include watering and the cutting and pruning of trees damaged by severe winds during a July 1 storm.
To date the city has spent $22,000 on watering newly planted trees. If the drought holds, public works staff said the city could spend another $77,000 on watering alone.
Officials are focusing on approximately 1,000 trees, but if the drought persists, or worsens, the number could climb to 2,500, Suhr said..
According to city documents the trees could require six waterings over the next three months at a cost of $9-$12 per watering.
Because it costs the city more to transport water to the trees than it costs residents to run a hose to street-side, city officials have asked residents to help in the hydrating efforts. However, the response has not been overwhelming, Suhr said Monday night. In some cases some residential attempts to water trees adjacent to their property have resulted in overwatering, Suhr said.
The watering and cleanup project will be funded by money in the general fund and reserve fund.
Tree cleanup following the July 1 storm that brought wind gust of 60 miles per hour has cost the city $14,168 to date. As cleanup continues the costs are expected to increase another $17,000, officials said.
The city will also replace 45 trees that fell during that storm for an approximate cost of $18,000.