Tonawanda News

Columns

September 7, 2013

TUCKER: Don't fret over the trees

Tonawanda News — Wondering

Several emails and phone calls this past week questioned why North Tonawanda took down the trees on Webster Street between Tremont and Sweeney streets.

An email to Mayor Ortt brought a speedy reply, explaining the situation (which, by the way, was in a recent story by our own Mike Regan)

The mayor answered that “the Webster Street Green Infrastructure Improvements project will provide aesthetic, economic and environmental enhancements to the Webster Street business district. Using grant funds from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, the city will remove the existing trees and planter boxes on Webster and install bio-retention “Filterra” units in their place.

“These units will have smaller trees set into the sidewalk that better fit our downtown aesthetic. The purpose of these units will be to collect the polluted storm water run-off from Webster Street and filter it in a “green”, environmentally sustainable way.

“Project construction will begin in September and run into November. The grant funding total is $574,500.

 “As they will be city trees, the city will be responsible. The trees will be far less maintenance than the flowers/planters. There should be sufficient ground water/rainwater to sustain them on a regular basis. The city does not water the trees currently. These may require some additional care, but as I said, much less than the planters/flowers which are being removed.”

Since I ended my email with a note about the horrific signal at Main and Thompson and hoping he could evoke some change there, he ended his email in a humorous reply: “Now, if you will excuse me, I have to get back to ridding the city of annoying traffic signals.”

Way to go, mayor.

Vietnam madness

Last week I visited the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 77 museum on Main Street in Tonawanda — my first.

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