Glenview addresses tree preservation, lead service pipes

Glenview addresses tree preservation, lead service pipes
Glenview addresses tree preservation, lead service pipes

Glenview’s water safety and suburban forest were highlighted at the Aug. 2 Glenview Village Board of Trustees meeting.

Board members heard an update on village tree maintenance preservation, dedicating more than an hour to the presentation plus discussion.

Items included tree trimming, the status of the emerald ash borer on the local ash tree population, the village’s parkway tree program and rules regarding permits for tree removal, plus ComEd’s tree trimming method controversial with upset property owners.

“ComEd does not need a permit for this trimming,” confirmed Joe Kenney, Glenview deputy director of public works.

“The trimming can lead to some atypical or abnormally shaped trees when they do clear their lines,” Kenney said.

Between 2009 to 2020, approximately 5,000 EAB-infested ash trees were removed in Glenview and an estimated 900 village ash trees remain, the latter monitored for health as part of the regular tree maintenance program.

Glenview has 30,700 public trees of many varieties in village rights of way, such as in parkways along public roads.

Glenview’s public tree maintenance program includes, “a six-year cycle to have every tree inspected by a certified arborist at least once every six years,” according to an Aug. 2, 2022 Glenview Public Works Department document at https://glenview.

The 2022 tree program budget for tree and stump removal, tree trimming and tree planting is rounded up to nearly $368,000.

“I just kind of want to reiterate what the importance of these trees are to our community,” Glenview Trustee Mary W. Cooper said during the Tuesday evening presentation.

Glenview has a target public and private tree canopy coverage (from 34.8% to 37%) by 2032 via expanded and new programs.

“It does add to our quality of life,” Cooper said. “It does also help with stormwater and it also helps reduce our carbon footprint.”

Glenview’s tree preservation ordinance was adopted in November 2000 and amended in January 2015 to protect private trees. A permit is required for the removal of landmark trees of minimum diameter sizes. Oaks, hickories and maples are examples of desired trees. Lesser quality trees include cottonwood and box elders.

“We have such a beautiful community with all these large and mature trees,” Village Trustee Gina DeBoni said. “Sometimes you don’t appreciate something until it’s not there anymore and I really feel that’s true as it relates to all of our beautiful trees and our community.

“It’s when they’re gone, that’s when you hear, ‘We’re missing it’ and it takes years and lifetimes for many to have that type of canopy and that coverage back,” DeBoni said. “It’s something that’s important to continue to look at and see how we can further the initiatives of improving our canopy and looking at what potential cost is associated with that.”

Aug. 2’s board meeting also addressed the environmental asset of a safe water supply in Glenview.

Glenview village staff provided an update on the State of Illinois Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. Trustees were tasked with passing a resolution approving a private lead (lead, the chemical element) service line replacement cost-sharing program.

On Aug. 30, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker signed and legalized a Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act to spur replacement of identified unsafe water service lines when lead is discovered.

Glenview set aside $2.4 million of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funding for its 2022 to 2024 lead water service replacement program.

“We have multiple years to comply,” Kenney said.

Of that $2.4 million, $400,000 pays for inventory, $1 million funds public lead water service line replacements and $1 million assists private lead water pipe service replacements via a cost-sharing program with property owners.

“This is a big undertaking for any homeowners who do discover they have private lead water (line) services,” Kenney said.

The cost-sharing program has the village paying 50% and the property owner paying 50% for private lead water system replacement.

Trustee DeBoni suggested the village look at a grant program to assist homeowners who may have a hardship footing an unexpected private lead issue retrofit bill.

“I wonder about the residents in our community that have financial insecurity,” DeBoni said. “Even at 50/50, it may be something that’s not doable for them and it concerns me that someone has to choose or make a choice relating to health and safety.

“It just concerns me that families … families with children, individuals, have to suffer the effects of the lead pipes because they may not be able to afford the replacement even with the 50/50 cost sharing program,” DeBoni said.

To that, “Maybe we could explore that with the upcoming budget season as well in terms of allocation,” Glenview Village President Michael Jenny said.

The village board passed the cost-sharing resolution unanimously.

Karie Angell Luc is a freelancer for Pioneer Press.

Source link

2022-08-07 20:24:00