Monday evening during the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, members were updated by a variety of departments.   

City Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson was given permission to hire two new maintenance personnel.  He told the board he has three maintenance personnel, one resigned on August 3rd and he had three years of experience while the second one, who is the head of maintenance will be retiring at the end of this year.  Davidson said he would like to hire two as soon as possible to allow them to work with the two remaining employees till the end of the year for some on-the-job training.  He said he has money available in the budget to cover the additional costs.   

Police Chief Dave Bacon told Board of Works members that two new officers were sworn into office on Monday. Patrolmen Jess Fisher and Lance Balsley have both already attended the academy and will spend a couple of days training with Plymouth officers.  He also said they will be working this weekend during the Blueberry Festival. 

Plymouth Street Superintendent Jim Marquardt updated members of the Board of Public Works and Safety with information on tree removal.  He said, “Last week some questions came up about the East LaPorte Street tree removal. I want to make sure the board is aware of it.  In the Community Crossing Project, Gibson and LaPorte Streets there are quite a few trees that need to come out along LaPorte Street because of the new sidewalk.”  He said this has been talked about in the Complete Streets Committee and the Tree Committee.  He said the plan is to start replacing those trees with new trees using the city’s annual tree fund. 

Marquardt said he’s tried to speak with several neighbors.  One neighbor said, “I don’t like it but okay.”  Another resident told Marquardt he’s committing vandalism and some neighbors are taking pictures of them removing the trees and now the phone calls have started.

The street superintendent said they’ve taken down 3 or 4 trees already and they have 6 more to go.  He just wanted Board of Works members to be aware of the plan if they are contacted by LaPorte Street neighbors.   

Park Superintendent Mike Hite told the board that Blueberry has taken over the park and set up is well underway.