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Toledo approves proposal to remove dangerous trees in park

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The Toledo City Council has accepted a bid to begin removing dangerous limbs and trees from Kemp Olson Memorial Park with the hope of re-opening the facility before the end of the year.

The Council had closed the park to all uses last month after Public Works Superintendent Craig McCown reported a pair of arborists had advised him of unhealthily trees in the park likely to fall during heavy wind or rain.

During the council's Dec. 1 meeting, McCown said he had received of bid from local contractor Paul Oberg to cut down the dangerous trees at a rate of $1,200 per day, stating this proposal was the least expensive and best-qualified the city expected to receive.

"The way he made it sound, he could buzz through there in two days," said McCown of Oberg's estimate, stating it would be expected of city employees to remove the felled trees after Oberg was done, which McCown said was typical of such jobs.

After discussing a desire to re-open the park sooner than January, as had been originally planned, the council approved Oberg's proposal and McCown said he would speak with Oberg and set up a time in the near future to have the frees felled.

City Clerk Michelle Whitten noted, if the work is completed before the end of the year, the city would still have to wait until after Jan. 1 to pay for the job as they will not have funding budgeted for tree removal until that time, adding contractors typically allow for 30 days to honor an invoice and she expects any work done in December to be paid within such a timeline.

The council indicated, after the trees in the park are made safe again, they expect it would continue to be closed to vehicle traffic for the duration of the winter, as is normal, and closed entirely during inclement weather, but would again be opened to pedestrians and day users.

McCown also noted, even after the clearly-dangerous trees are removed by Oberg, there would still be a threat of limbs falling from different trees during a storm, and his department will continue to keep an eye on the safety of the park during upcoming months.

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