SIDNEY — Arbor Day in the city of Sidney will be observed on Friday, April 30, 2021, Mayor Mike Barhorst proclaimed Monday during Sidney City Council’s teleconference workshop session.
The proclamation was presented to Brian Green, Sidney street manager/ISA certified arborist. The Arbor Day event will be held at Longfellow Primary School, 1250 Park St.
During the proclamation, Barhorst encouraged citizens to consider planting a tree and said the city has been recognized as a Tree City since 1989 and is also a member of Tree City USA.
“The trees of the community are a vital part of our local environment providing erosion control, oxygen supply and wildlife habitat, and are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products,” Barhorst said. “Trees and the urban forest make our neighborhoods more inviting and attractive and cause new home buyers to want to live in our community, be willing to pay more for a house and therefore are a foundation stone for our community’s economic development efforts.”
The Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifer) will be planted at Longfellow School, Barhorst said, in part because they are hardwood trees, have beautiful flowers in the spring, colorful yellow leaves in the fall, and provide lots of shade.
In other business, Green provided an urban forestry update for council members that included a PowerPoint presentation detailing Arbor Day, Tree City USA items, tree plantings, tree removals and 2021 programs and goals.
He told council Sidney has been named a tree city for the 32nd consecutive year.
He also echoed Barhorst’s announcement about Sidney’s Arbor Day celebration at Longfellow on April 30, which will be at a time to be announced. He provided information for council to review about the benefits and values of urban trees and on tree pruning standards.
Green displayed maps for council on the city’s street tree pruning schedule. He also reported there are approximately 80 remaining ash trees remaining in Sidney. Approximately 1100 street and park trees have been removed since 2011; 90% were ash trees, he said. The city is expected to remove approximately 15 ash trees in 2021.
During a recap of 2020, Green said 32 trees were planted in the right-of-way. He reminded council members, the 2020 tree purchase program was cancelled due to the pandemic. He noted $10,000 is budgeted to plant approximately 28 trees in 2021.
Also Monday, City Manager Mark Cundiff said the April Zoning Board meeting is cancelled, as nothing is on the agenda, but one case will be considered by the Planning Commission on April 19. He then reviewed the prospective City Council agenda items for the next 30 days.
During council member comments, Steven Klingler, Jenny VanMatre and Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan shared they had received phone calls from several residents with concerns about the prohibition of the operation of the golf carts on city streets. Barhorst said the issue was unanimously tabled during the last regular meeting and if City Council wanted to resume discussing the matter, it would need to be lifted from the table during a regular meeting.
In final business, City Council went into an executive session to discuss pending or imminent court action and the employment of a public employee. Council also held a special meeting immediately prior the regular meeting Monday to hold an executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee. No action was taken by council members after they emerged from either session.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.