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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.

Tom Wood December 12, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Oh yes, get rid of those crape myrtles...do away with what little charm that is left in that area. Make sure that all of the retail signs are prominent because we need more visible signs to tacky up the place! Maybe some planters can be made out of old truck tires painted white, also a nice touch. Merchants could sponsor the tires and paint their business names and phone numbers on them also.
CP3 December 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Did you not read that they are being replaced with more suitable varities for the location? Maybe you should attend a Council meeting and understand the facts before ranting.
Wanda Terry December 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
My issue is the parking! The whole Downtown Duluth was just poorly designed!
CP3 December 12, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Whole Downtown? Specifically where? There are over 700 free parking spaces around downtown.
Dusty Graham December 12, 2012 at 09:02 PM
There are very serious issues with the downtown area. One of the biggest is that the City sees merchants and building owners as adversaries instead of partners for success. CP3's attitude is echoed among city bureaucrats. Instead of trying to figure out how to best get out of the way and allow the entrepreneurs to thrive, they attack and nit-pick while trying to put lipstick on a pig.
CP3 December 12, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I do believe my two comments are based on fact, not personal opinion. Please provide me facts on your comment regarding my attitude.
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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