Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

City approves buying 150 trees for board

December 21, 2006

Thanks to the work of the Baldwin City Tree Board and the generosity of the Baldwin City Council, there will be 150 new trees planted in the city in the spring.

Roger Boyd, tree board chairman, outlined a pilot project to the council at Monday's meeting that would start an annual tree planting to help maintain the city's "urban forest," as Boyd called it, as well as maintain Baldwin's "Tree City USA" designation.

"The Baldwin City Tree Board proposes to purchase 150 trees from Forrest Keeling Nursery in Elsberry, Mo.," said Boyd. "These trees are in 3 gallon pots and are expected to be 5 to 7 feet tall. They have an especially hardy root system and should be very successful and fast growing.

"We propose planting these in the city right-of-way along U.S. Highway 56, city parks, along the entrance to the power plant and through a special program for city residents," he said. "The trees should be shipped in March or April and planted as soon after arrival as feasible."

The proposal was for purchase of 50 Sugar Maples, 50 Red Oaks, 25 Bur Oaks and 25 Pin Oaks. Total cost is $1,800. Boyd said the tree board could contribute $650 to the project and asked for the remaining $1,150 from the city.

"I think it's a very reasonable request," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman when asked by Mayor Gary Walbridge. "We budget for maintenance and other items regarding trees. We will have the funds."

Council Member Tony Brown thought the idea was great.

"If we're going to have the designation of Tree City USA, we need to be proactive in planting trees," said Brown. "I see this as a great opportunity."

Brown was asked if he wanted to make the motion to approve the $1,150 request. He said yes and then there was a brief discussion about the amount.

"Let's make it for the entire $1,800," Brown said.

The motion passed unanimously.

In other business, the city amended the 2006 budget to reflect changes necessary because of the purchase of the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course, which had a price tag of roughly $550,000. The adjustments accounted for additional revenue to the city and other items. It did not raise taxes.

"This is mostly accounting sort of moves?" asked Brown.

"We're doing it so we don't spend more than we're allowed," said Dingman. "There is no adjustment in taxes."

The council also approved a change in zoning in the FireTree Estates subdivision. Two lots north of the Baldwin City Market were changed from commercial to residential zoning. Duplexes will be built there.

The council also approved Cereal Malt Beverage licenses for 2007 to five businesses: Hickory Creek Barbecue, Kwik Shop, Pizza Hut, Santa Fe Market and Wheat State Pizza.

Baldwin City Recreation Commission Director Monte Ezell also told the council that the feed-back from the first-ever scavenger hunt has been positive. It was in conjunction with the recent Light Parade and had 25 participants for prizes up to $500. Ezell also told the council that as of Jan. 1, the commission's on-line registration would again be available.

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