Nearly 60 trees to be removed in Olde Town

Nearly 60 to be removed because of deterioration

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Nearly 60 trees in Olde Town will be removed in the next few months because of their deteriorating and unsafe limbs.

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Removing deteriorating trees has become a priority after cars and homes were damaged during storms. Officials say Olde Town residents could be asked to pitch in to replace the trees.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Removing deteriorating trees has become a priority after cars and homes were damaged during storms. Officials say Olde Town residents could be asked to pitch in to replace the trees.

Most of the branded Water and Laurel Oak Trees are about 90 years old and have fallen on cars and homes during storms or have signs they could be dangerous in the future, according to city officials.

“I hate to lose a big tree, but there comes a time when it’s just the prudent thing to do,” said arborist and Augusta Tree Commission Chairman Roy Simkins. “You can’t let a time bomb sit there waiting to be a disaster and say ‘Wouldn’t it be a shame to take that tree down?’ ”

Removing deteriorating trees from Olde Town has become a priority after several instances of limbs falling on residents’ property after storms. The question now is how the city will replace the trees and keep the green spaces thriving.

Augusta Recreation Parks and Facilities horticulturist Sam Smith said he is preparing to bid a planting project for 25 trees. However, Simkins said he is unsure whether the budget will allow for the city to re-plant as many trees that will be uprooted.

“The plan is to plant new trees … but sometimes we have to count on landowners to replace them,” Simkins said. “We might need the adjacent landowners to pitch in.”

Simkins began inspecting the trees two weeks ago and marked the rotting ones with an X in white spray paint. To the untrained eye, most look intact and strong. But the trees he marked have decaying trunks and fruiting bodies of fungi at the bases that eat away at and weaken them, Simkins said.

The city is now preparing to bid out the uprooting project to an outside contractor, which is expected to be completed in the next few months.

All of the almost 60 trees to be removed are between East Boundary and Fifth Street on Broad Street and between East Boundary and 10th Street on Greene Street.

Rick Keuroglian, the president of the Olde Town Neighborhood Association, said there’s no debate that the decaying trees are dangerous but that residents want to be sure the trees are replaced.

“Every storm we’ve had it seems it’s wreaking havoc in the area,” Keuroglian said. “It’s caused damage, hit homes, destroyed property. But I just want to know what’s the plan to replace them.”

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j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/22/11 - 06:17 pm
0
0
At last, sanity prevails with

At last, sanity prevails with respect to these downtown trees. Thank goodness something is finally going to be done with these appropriately described ticking time bombs. Thank you, Roy, for your input. I have personally witnessed too many people's property damaged when one of these babies fall.

augusta citizen
9330
Points
augusta citizen 09/22/11 - 08:12 pm
0
0
Well if Mr. Keuroglian reads

Well if Mr. Keuroglian reads this article, the plan to replace them is; "The plan is to plant new trees...but sometimes we have to count on landowners to replace them." Simkins said, "We might need the adjacent landowners to pitch in." So they will replace what the budget allows for. It will probably not be enough to replace all of the trees as the article also says, so the Olde Town homeowners will have to pay for some of the new trees from their own money.

corgimom
32319
Points
corgimom 09/22/11 - 09:02 pm
0
0
By the time it's all over,

By the time it's all over, the Olde Town property owners will pay for the trees and have to maintain them in order for them to survive- in essence, donating their time, money, and labor- and then, after all of that, the tree belongs to the city.

A-RC supposedly has money to build a ballpark and a TEE Center that no one wants to come to, but don't have the money to plant and maintain 60 trees.

What a terrible shame.

Privy
104
Points
Privy 09/22/11 - 09:28 pm
0
0
Why is it that the tree crew

Why is it that the tree crew or crews for the city has'nt removed any of these deteriorating trees? These trees have been a hazard for years as you are able to tell looking in the papers archives and or speaking with the residents of Old Towne. It was just some years ago that a contract went out to remove trees in this same spot. I would rather think that the city would have been taking these trees down systematically throughout the last few years if they were indeed concerened.
These trees did not just become a hazard over night, the dacaying trunks and fruiting bodies have been issues for years.

Paper puppets!

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 09/22/11 - 10:14 pm
0
0
Olde Town is one of the most

Olde Town is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the area, and the safety of homes and vehicles is important.. Many of the trees in the area are really dangerous during heavy winds.

If nobody wants to come to the TEE Center.. Then why are several conventions pending??

If nobody goes to Greenjackets games? Then why did the team set a attendance record last year?? Why do Cal Ripken and Jim Jacoby want to spend millions building a baseball stadium, residential, restuarants, etc??

Little Lamb
45949
Points
Little Lamb 09/22/11 - 10:23 pm
0
0
Countyman wrote, “Why do Cal

Countyman wrote, “Why do Cal Ripken and Jim Jacoby want to spend millions building a baseball stadium, residential, restuarants, etc??”

Countyman cannot produce one published statement that Ripken and Jacoby want to spend millions building anything in Augusta.

If you can find it published, Countyman, then provide a link to it here.

j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/22/11 - 10:36 pm
0
0
Privy, the geniuses who run

Privy, the geniuses who run our City-County government have gutted the department that did this kind of work. I think we now have a 5-man crew, perhaps fewer, to handle all the tree work in Augusta-Richmond County.

Over the years, because of the problems that constantly arose with these trees falling or having huge limbs break off, I met and got to know many members of that crew, and I observed their professionalism many times. Those guys could handle this work for a fraction of the cost that a private contractor will charge, but they have county-wide responsibilities. A number of years ago when they had a larger crew, my neighbor and I petitioned the appropriate department many times to remove two dangerous trees in the 200 block of Broad Street, near 2nd Street -- one in the median and one between the street and the sidewalk, essentially in my neighbor's front yard but on public property. After more than a year of such efforts, action was finally taken, and the trees were removed. The crew chief said that it had taken so long because their priorities had to be to respond to emergencies and that they had to work non-emergency work in when they could. This was when they had a decent sized crew or crews to do such work.

As for property owners replacing trees at their own expense, I think many of the property owners, and especially the owner-occupants, would be willing to do this in the areas between the street and the sidewalk that effectively constitute their front yards but which are nonetheless County-owned areas. My wife and I planted a nice Crepe Myrtle in this area of our yard at our expense. I think there will be less willingness to do so in the medians where the vast majority of the targeted trees are located.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 09/22/11 - 10:59 pm
0
0
Littlelamb... Augusta

Littlelamb... Augusta Chronicle June, 2011.. ' At the riverfront site once intended to house the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, the proposal was to build a $38.7 million stadium complex, including condominiums and restaurants, through a public-private partnership between Augusta, Ripken Baseball and Jacoby Development, who developed the $2 billion Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta.'

The plan of having a public/private partnership has been discussed numerous times.. Where did you think the private funds are coming from??

Can you now produce one published statement that Ripken and Jacoby don't want to spend millions building anything in Augusta??

The city of Greenville is undergoing another private/public partnership.. The $100 million project including a nine story building(first phase: Certus Bank, Anthropologie, etc) and a eleven story building(second phase: offices, potential hotel, or retail space)..

Let's hope Augusta is progressive enough and gets on board real soon.. The proposed Greenway and mix-use entertainment center would change the face of the CBD..

j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/22/11 - 10:54 pm
0
0
Perhaps we could impose upon

Perhaps we could impose upon the organizers of the Ironman Triathlon to abandon the bicycle portion of their race and turn over axes and chainsaws to these 100s of stoked athletes and let them have a tree-felling competition.

That would provide some measure of compensation for completely disrupting the lives of all Broad Street residents on Sunday . All of Broad Street from East Boundary to 13th Street to be completely closed to all traffic and to all parking from 4:00 AM until 5:00 PM. I don't know where these geniuses expect these people to park, since most properties on Broad don't have off-street parking available. And surely these same geniuses do not expect any of the many heathens who populate Broad Street to want to go to church on Sunday. May God help anyone who needs an ambulance on Sunday.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/22/11 - 10:59 pm
0
0
Countyman, what is the

Countyman, what is the "Greenway" of which you speak?

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 09/22/11 - 11:29 pm
0
0
J- campbell.. I live downtown

J- campbell.. I live downtown and had to deal with the closing of Broad street for the Arts in the Heart.. The local money generated through these events far outweigh the parking problems..

The ESI Ironman brings a total of 5k-6k athletes, not including their family members or friends... The event is the largest Ironman in the world, and the impact is around $5 million..

j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/22/11 - 11:03 pm
0
0
It's in North Augusta!

It's in North Augusta!

j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/22/11 - 11:05 pm
0
0
Countyman, Arts-in-the-Heart

Countyman, Arts-in-the-Heart did not close off an entire residential area -- only one block of the business district, and as far as the economic impact is concerned, show us the money!

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/22/11 - 11:09 pm
0
0
Yea j-campbell; we should

Yea j-campbell; we should probably do away with that event in the spring that brings golfers to town too. After all, it clogs up Washington Road, Riverwatch, and just about every other thoroughfare for a couple of miles for a WEEK! Those poor folks who live in National Hills, Berkmans Road neighborhoods, around Lake Olmstead, down Alexander Drive, etc., etc. deserve to not have their lives disrupted for a WEEK just to satisfy one of the largest sporting events of its kind in the world that brings $millions$ into the local economy.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 09/22/11 - 11:28 pm
0
0
J-Campbell.. While it's

J-Campbell.. While it's called the Central Business District around 6k people live in the area.. Alot of the population lives on Broad street between 10th and 7th street. The Arts in the Heart caused Broad to close from 10th to 7th.. If you want to see the money generated from the event. Check out hotels(spefically the downtown Mariotts) where the athletes are staying. Along wit the restaurants and shops they'll be visiting around Augusta.

Vito45.. Bob Munger(developer of the future Lofts at Marbury) is getting support from the young professionals in the metro area. The greenway would connect the CBD, GHSU, University, VA, Paine College, and Walton Rehab.. The proposed bridge of the Greenway crosses over the Augusta canal.. The Greenway is dedicated to LSV's(less than 25 miles per hour), PTV's (less than 20 miles per hour) golf cart, biking, walking, etc.. Google Augusta Greenway Alliance for more information.. If you want to get involved Mr. Munger's email address is available under ''About Us''..

Little Lamb
45949
Points
Little Lamb 09/22/11 - 11:45 pm
0
0
Countyman posted: Augusta

Countyman posted:

Augusta Chronicle, June, 2011 – “At the riverfront site once intended to house the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, the proposal was to build a $38.7 million stadium complex, including condominiums and restaurants, through a public-private partnership between Augusta, Ripken Baseball and Jacoby Development, who developed the $2 billion Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta.”

Sorry, Countyman, but a quote of your own post on a blog does not count as legitimate “publication.” And nowhere in your post do you give any hint that Ripken and/or Jacoby will cough up millions of dollars. They have been totally silent as to their up front investment commitments.

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 09/22/11 - 11:52 pm
0
0
When I still lived in Olde

When I still lived in Olde Town, I contacted the city and offered to donate five new oak trees and even plant them myself. This was to replace the ones cut down near my house a few years ago when the city removed 80 old oak trees in Olde Town. They told me no, and that there were no plans to replace the trees. Maybe this year will be different.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 09/23/11 - 12:05 am
0
0
Little Lamb.. The quote

Little Lamb.. The quote doesn't belong too me.. The quote was taken from the Augusta Chronicle...

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 09/23/11 - 12:16 am
0
0
Hey, sorry to get in the way

Hey, sorry to get in the way of all this baseball fun, but I want to mention something from the Olde Town Historic Guidelines–

"1. Retain mature shade trees, driveways, alleys, and walkways that contribute to the historic character of the district.
2. Maintain the canopy effect of trees on existing streets. New trees of indigenous spe- cies should be added to fill in gaps, to replace diseased trees, and to create a denser and more contiguous canopy on streets where there is high pedestrian traffic. Plantings enhance medians and curb strips."

Will the city go before the Historic Preservation Commission to present the plan and ask for a certificate of appropriateness for the removal and replacement of these trees? I'm guessing no, and if you're curious, I'll tell you why.

AutumnLeaves
7696
Points
AutumnLeaves 09/23/11 - 12:43 am
0
0
If it is the running, biking,

If it is the running, biking, walking trail that runs through North Augusta, SC's Riverview Park it is called the Greeneway (note the spelling) for the Mr. Greene it is named after.

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 09/23/11 - 11:02 am
0
0
What a shame that the grand

What a shame that the grand old trees have to be removed. It will take many years for new trees to grow.
Olde Town will not be the same.

southern
17
Points
southern 09/23/11 - 11:14 am
0
0
It's a shame these trees have

It's a shame these trees have to go. But why not replace them as Memorial trees of soldiers that have given their lives for our country. Im sure we could all get behind that.

Granddaddy John
101
Points
Granddaddy John 09/23/11 - 12:40 pm
0
0
Use the same type oak trees
Unpublished

Use the same type oak trees that Savannah has,they stay green all year,don't rot from the inside and handle storms very well.

j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/23/11 - 01:45 pm
0
0
Vito45, while that Spring

Vito45, while that Spring event does indeed impact the residents of the National Hills area and the other areas you mentioned, they are not prevented from legally driving to and from their homes during that period as will be the residents of Broad Street on Sunday. It's one thing to have your life disrupted -- or more appropriately, inconvenienced -- it's altogether another thing to be virtually confined to your home or to areas within walking distance.

And Countyman -- that's rich, a Countyman who lives in the CBD -- as for the money generated from this event, the Convention and Visitors Bureau will receive a sizable chunk of that through the hotel/motel taxes. Perhaps they could see their way clear to fund the tree replacement that everyone seems to agree should be done. This would be a token gesture of compensation for the inconvenience caused. I am a former member of the CVB's seven-member Board of Directors (at least it used to be seven members -- not sure what it is now), and that group has great latitude on what it chooses to fund.

And Mike71345, we all know those historical district guidelines are there for the convenience of the City to impose its will on those upon whom they choose to enforce those provisions. So, no, they probably will not seek waivers.

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 09/23/11 - 01:58 pm
0
0
j-campbell, here is why the

j-campbell, here is why the city will not go before the HPC–Georgia law exempts local governments from HPC oversight. Though I have to wonder why the city took the new library and the TEE Center before the HPC. I think in those cases it was the Commission's way of dodging responsibility for the additional costs the HPC's review imposed.

j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 09/23/11 - 02:02 pm
0
0
Sounds much the same as how

Sounds much the same as how Congress exempts itself from rules they impose upon the rest of us. And yeah, the previous appearance before the HPC was a CYA mission.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/23/11 - 04:00 pm
0
0
If anyone wants to replace

If anyone wants to replace them with Royal Palm trees we've got a bunch of Royal Palms that produce a tangy/juicy fruit high in vitamins ancient royalty used to stay healthy on long voyages we'll donate. The only problem is they are still kinda small but grow quickly.

sand gnat
510
Points
sand gnat 09/23/11 - 11:54 pm
0
0
If the city can wait a few

If the city can wait a few months, this could be a good contract for the guy that built the sidewalks on Broad St. Could be a great opportunity for him to get back in the swing of things.

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 09/24/11 - 12:25 am
0
0
sand gnat, that's a great

sand gnat, that's a great idea! What sidewalks are you talking about?

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