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Duluth to Replace Main Street Crape Myrtles

Canopy shade trees that would allow storefronts and signs to be more visible will be planted to replace the crape myrtles.

The city has decided to uproot the Crape Myrtle trees on Main Street in Downtown Duluth and replace them with canopy shade trees.

The crape myrtles block merchant storefronts and signs, Duluth City Manager Tim Shearer told the City Council at its Dec. 10 meeting. Canopy trees would improve visibility of the shops and signage, Shearer said. The leaves and flowers the crape myrtles drop also make it difficult to keep sidewalks clean.

Shearer reported that most of the Main Street merchants he had talked to indicated they would like to see the crape myrtles replaced. A couple would like the existing trees to remain, he said.

The council authorized amending the city budget in an amount up to $4,500 for removing the crape myrtles, purchasing new trees and planting them. The money for the project will come from the Landscaping/Tree Fund.

The city has received three bids of $1,100, $1,200 and $2,250 for tree removal. Audrey Turner, director of the Duluth Public Works Department, said one of the bidders would be selected to do the job.

Nine replacement trees would cost $200 per tree delivered for a total of $1,800. Installation would be $100 per tree ($900). A contingency of $700 was added in case any problems were encountered.

The Public Works Department trimmed several of the crape myrtle trees during the summer by order of Shearer.

Dusty Graham December 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Gladly, just as soon as you gain enough courage to post under your real name.
CP3 December 13, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Unfortunately, CP3 is all you'll get. In today's social media environment, it would not be wise, nor safe, to give a real name. And yes, this is a personal opinion, not necessarily a fact.
DavidE December 13, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Can't public works remove and replace the trees instead of contracting it out? It seems like many of the departments are doing less and we are contracting out more, all while budgets are growing.
Dusty Graham December 13, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Truth be known, this entire process stared when Public Works tried to trim the existing trees. They did not have the knowledge or expertise and damaged the trees they trimmed to such an extent that those have to be replaced. Our city has grown beyond the capability of many of our departments to manage.
Tom Wood December 18, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Believe me CP3, I read it, I just happen to not agree with the decision. BTW, for your information I have attended quite a few Council meetings, having served as a member of that body for 4+ years.

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