Plans for the removal of 35 Douglas fir trees and the maintenance trimming of 14 additional trees at Azalea Park have begun as a result of the Brookings City Council decision this week authorizing the work to proceed.
“Staff is currently preparing a scope of work for the project and will be issuing a request for quotes within the next few weeks,” City Manager Gary Milliman said. “We will also be returning to the City Council to request a budget adjustment to pay for the work.”
According to an estimate submitted by Western Pacific Tree Service the cost of removing the 35 trees and cleaning debris would be recovered from the sale of the logs to South Coast Lumber Company. Based upon this estimate another $11,435 would be needed to pay for the cost of trimming the remaining 14 trees.
“Our standard practice for a project of this size is to contact and solicit informal quotes from at least three contractors,” Milliman said. “We have decided to advertise the project and consider all proposals. Information on how to submit a proposal will be published in the Curry Coastal Pilot and will be posted on the City’s website.”
Milliman said a map identifying trees to be removed and trees to be trimmed is being prepared and will be posted on the City website.
Some trimming and removal of broken limbs has already taken place, Milliman noted. “There are several trees that had broken limbs dangling dangerously. We took action to resolve this safety hazard in September within the parks maintenance budget.”
Physical work on the tree removal and trimming is expected to begin early next year, depending on weather conditions and City Council funding approval.
Responding to questions raised at the recent Council meeting, Milliman noted that the recent construction of an internal park road was a part of the Azalea Park Master Plan approved by the City Council in 2009. “The purpose of this road is to connect the two athletic field parking lots and provide better ADA and emergency vehicle access to the sports field area of the park,” Milliman noted.
Two trees located within the formal gardens area maintained by the Azalea Park Foundation (APF) are scheduled for trimming as recommended in the arborist report. There was concern expressed at the Council meeting that the City had not conferred with the APF concerning removal of the trees.Milliman said he has directed staff to include funds for ongoing tree maintenance at all City parks in their annual budget proposals beginning with fiscal 2018-19. “Past practice has been to basically not deal with the trees until they became a problem; a practice that we can no longer continue,” Milliman said.
Other alternatives considered by the City Council included the removal of 60 trees identified as hazard trees and trees shading-out native Azaleas, or a recommendation by arborist Brian French to remove eight trees initially, with maintenance and monitoring the condition of the remaining 52 trees identified in the work plan. The French report indicated that more than eight trees may need to be removed after a further evaluation.