Huntley weighs more aid to replace ash trees
By Jeanie Mayer For The Courier-News July 13, 2012 12:18PM
Updated: August 23, 2012 9:55AM
HUNTLEY — The village has plans to remove another 200 trees infected with the emerald ash borer, and officials say that number will go up with more tree inspections also scheduled.
Village board members Thursday night discussed the planned removal of the trees in the Northbridge, Georgian Place and Southwind subdivisions. About 100 trees are slated for removal in just Southwind.
That led board members to consider extra help for residents in replacing the trees.
Staff reported that hundreds of trees already have been removed from the village due to the infestation in recent years. This past spring, the village removed 97 ash trees in the Huntley Meadows, Wing Pointe and Heritage of Huntley subdivisions.
Trustee Harry Leopold noted that more than 900 ash trees in the Sun City subdivision will be surveyed starting next week.
Trustee Niko Kanakaris said that because of the extensive number of trees removed due to the EAB infestation, the board may need to consider doing more to help the subdivisions replace trees where massive removals have taken place.
“You look at some of these neighborhoods, and every tree on the street is coming down,” Kanakaris said. “I think we need to look at how we can do a little more in some of these cases.”
The village currently has a 50/50 tree replacement program for parkway trees, and according to Village Manager David Johnson, the budgeted amount is used every year by residents.
Johnson said the staff will prepare an audit of the extent of the damage to each subdivision and a cost analysis of replacing the trees for the board’s review in coming weeks.
In other business, the board lauded the efforts of 21 residents who graduated from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program in 2010 and 2011.
The residents earned certification in the program that taught them how to respond in the event of public emergencies and disasters, and to assist the community when first-responders such as fire and police personnel are unavailable or delayed.
Trustee John Piwko, who is the president of the CERT Council, made the presentation acknowledging the graduates. He said the CERT graduates were trained in disaster preparedness, night searches and team organization, among other things.
“If a disaster overwhelms first-responders, CERT members can assist their own families and other members of the community in the disaster until help arrives,” Piwko said.
Also, residents were reminded of a planned Route 47 improvement project ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.