The Emerald Ash Borer is causing havoc in our community, killing many of our beautiful ash trees.
The Ash Borer was first documented in the Town of Somers on July 26, 2013. Since then, residents in the community of Somers may have noticed an unusual amount of dead trees or trees with crown dieback in their neighborhoods. The problem of the Ash borer has also invaded our beloved Petrifying Springs Park, where 720 ash trees have been identified for removal.
Ash Borer Sign in Petrifying Springs Park, Somers, Wisconsin
(Source: Sign by Kenosha County Parks Department and photo by Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson)
Jerry Smith, Superintendent of Public Works for the Village/Town of Somers, reported to the Town Board on August 20, 2015, that he has identified the following ash trees on Town property that require removal in the interest of public safety:
- 35 Ash trees that require immediate removal (area of 63rd Street Subdivision – BB’s Lounge)
- 65 Ash trees that will require remove in the near future (area of the 63rd Street Subdivision (BB’s Lounge)
- 14 Ash trees that require immediate removal (area of 22nd Street)
Smith plans to conduct an informal inventory of trees located on Town and Village property. His report will identify trees that will require immediate removal, and trees that will require removal in the upcoming future. His report will be presented to the Village and Town Boards, making them aware of the scope of the problem. The findings of his report will be evaluated and funds in the 2016 Public Works budget will be required to address the issue. In order to keep costs to a minimum, the Public Works Department will cut and remove some trees; however, some will require hiring a professional tree service.
Taking a proactive approach, the Somers Town Board authorized Smith to apply, on behalf of the Town of Somers, for a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2016 Urban Forestry Grant up to $15,000 at the Town Board meeting held on September 9, 2015. The Village Board will address this issue upon receipt of Smith’s report.
The 2016 Grant deadline submittal is October 1, 2015. Grants range from $1,000 to $25,000 and require a 50-50 match. If awarded a Grant, the Town is required to initially fund 100 percent of the project costs. Upon completion, the Town would request reimbursement for 50 percent of eligible costs. The project must be completed within one calendar year.