Council increases budget to care for ‘city’ trees
BY CLAUDIA ELLIOTT
The Tehachapi City Council dispatched business on its open session agenda in just under 25 minutes Monday night.
Deputy Public Works Director Tyler Napier presented reports on the two main agenda items to the council. Both of his recommendations were approved by 4-0 votes with Councilmember Jeanette Pauer absent.
Napier said the council owns and cares for around 2,000 trees throughout the city limits.
“These trees have been planted by the city and are currently irrigated and maintained within public right-of-way or on public property,” he said.
City staff proposed spending nearly $44,000 to contract for tree trimming and removal services. Napier said the city budgeted $18,000 for this and proposed the other $25,712 be allocated from other city funds. Brightview Tree Care Services will do the work.
The action came just about a month after City Manager Greg Garrett told a local property owner that the city was not responsible for maintaining trees that it required along Dennison Road.
At the council’s Nov. 6 meeting, Gary Burgeis, owner of Mountain Aire Estates mobile home park on Dennison Road, said he was told the city doesn’t care for the trees planted in the sidewalk area along the road and outside the walls of the mobile home park.
Garrett told Burgeis at that meeting that the city required curbs, gutters, sidewalks and trees with an irrigation system to be installed as a condition of approval of the mobile home park in the 1970s. He added that if Burgeis removed the trees he could expect to hear from the city’s code enforcement staff.
On Monday night Napier said not all trees in the public right-of-way are city trees. Those placed either voluntarily or because they were required by the city are not maintained by the city, he said.
He said the recommended expense was an initial step “in a long-term plan to ensure the well-being of our beloved trees. This collaborative effort underlines the city of Tehachapi’s dedication to preserving the beauty and environmental benefits that our urban forest brings to the community.”
There was no discussion of a second reading and adoption of an ordinance regarding a fats, oils and grease control program. The ordinance was introduced on Nov. 20. At the time Public Works Director Don Marsh said the new ordinance will give the city greater control when establishments don’t follow the rules.
As part of its consent agenda the council voted to extend its agreement with P&J Electric, Inc., to provide on-call services. The agreement will be extended through Dec. 31, 2024.
Alberta Newspaper Group