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Local News

Channahon starts ash tree replacement program

CHANNAHON – Residents who have parkway trees infected with the emerald ash borer may begin participating in Channahon’s tree replacement program.

The program was approved this week by the village board.

Village staff and the Channahon Tree Board began working on the program when the emerald ash borer was identified in town in 2011. The borer is an invasive Asian beetle that feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, eventually killing them, according to tree board member Fred Henize.

A survey commissioned by the village two years ago found 29 percent of all Channahon’s parkway trees are ash, and a program to remove the diseased and dying ones began last year. Replacement of those and others will begin this year.

Channahon public works staff will identify and tag stricken ash trees along parkways, which are the strips of land between sidewalks and streets. Homeowners may also call the village to report diseased trees in parkways. If residents want the trees replaced with other species of trees, they can notify the village. Each resident would share the cost of the new tree 50-50 with the village. Residents would have to agree to take care of the tree for the first few years by watering and fertilizing as necessary.

The village would do routine maintenance on the trees as they grow.

Channahon Community Development Director Mike McMahon said there is $10,000 set aside for the tree replacement program. If the funds run out this year, a waiting list will be started. Residents may choose from a list of approved parkway trees on the village’s website listed under Ordinance 158.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the village agreed to post “no dumping” signs in the back of property at 24721 S. Potawatomie Trail after homeowners Dave and Janet Jones told the board of several instances of people dumping their garbage there, including neighbors. The Joneses said the illegal dumping has been going on for quite a while, and Dave Jones said when he approached one alleged perpetrator, the man responded that he didn’t see a sign not to.

“It makes the neighborhood look bad, makes Channahon look bad, and it’s just not right,” Dave Jones said.

His wife said the worst part was that two fires had begun in all the trash last year. One was while their 13-year-old son was home alone.

“The flames were 15-feet high,” she said.

Janet Jones said the fireman told her it was spontaneous combustion and that the fire was probably within 5 minutes of reaching their house.

Village President Joe Cook said staff would certainly put a sign up and look into the situation.

“And don’t hesitate to call the police,” he added.

Trustees Monday also heard first read on increasing sewer fees. There is a recurring deficit in the fund that is beyond the automatic annual 3 percent increase. Should trustees approve the measure on the second read at a later meeting, the rate will be increased by an additional 5 percent on May 1 for the next three years. That increase is on top of the annual 3 percent increase.

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