This week members of the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission met in the Council Chambers of City Hall and commission member Nancy Felde brought up concerns about the condition of some of the Honey Locus trees in the downtown area looking in bad shape and showing signs of dying.
Felde said her husband Luke, sits on the Plymouth Urban Forestry Committee. Plymouth was designated a Tree City USA in 2014. The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA. Plymouth has an annual program that plants 20 to 30 trees each fall around the city.
Nancy asked her husband about replacing some of the Honey Locus trees and he said removing the iron grate, taking out the old tree, refreshing the pit the tree gets planted in, purchasing a new tree, getting it planted, and putting the grate back would be expensive and more than what their budget allows.
Nancy Felde suggested using some of the TIF 2 funds annually to replace one tree per year for a while. She said, “We’ve put money into brick pavement downtown, city hall, and other things downtown. It seems to me that the trees should get some attention.”
City Attorney Sean Surrisi thought there may be something already on the TIF 2 project list that this project would fit into like Streetscape Improvements.
While the city’s Urban Forestry Commission has an annual budget from the city for trees, a lot of the funds are used for tree removal and trimming. The commission also uses the funds to plant trees in the city’s lawn area.
The city attorney agreed to look into the project list and see if an annual tree planting could happen using TIF 2 funds.