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Carolina Shores talks trees

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CAROLINA SHORES —Tree talk dominated town commissioners’ monthly workshop Monday, March 3.

Three weeks after a second ice storm descended on the region, the town is still picking up fallen tree debris.

In her monthly report, interim town administrator Julie Munday noted the ice storm caused much damage, but not enough to declare a state or federal emergency.

As a result, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will not be removing personal debris related to the storm from town rights-of-way.

The town has summoned Brunswick Trucking, which started picking up storm debris Feb. 19 in the Village at Calabash, followed by the Farm at Brunswick and Carolina Shores acreage.

As of Wednesday, Feb. 26, the total cost of pickup to be picked up by the town is $48,185.07.

The town will be doing a budget amendment in April because weather-related emergencies are not designated in the current budget.

Work by Brunswick Trucking will continue throughout this week and may continue into next week, Munday said.

Carolina Shores Mayor Walter Goodenough said it’s an easy six-week ordeal. He said it’s up to the town to contact a state representative to see if any of the cost can be recouped from state funds.

“This is going to be a big hit,” he said.

 

Arbor Day March 21

Munday noted in her report town clerk Nicole Marks is putting together the town’s annual Arbor Day Celebration, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 21 at town hall.

 

Counting trees

Commissioners also indicated an arborist’s proposal to do a complete inventory of all trees in the town is too expensive.

The estimated cost by arborist John Suggs is $4.50 per tree, plus $2,000 for field training and a report. The overall cost is an estimated $40,500 based on the estimated number of 10 trees per 900 homes. A grant could cover for $15,000, matched by an equal amount from the town.

“This is way beyond the scope that we ever thought,” town commissioner Greg Davis said. “There’s no way we can justify a tree survey to the taxpayers of this community. And that’s just the beginning cost, the counting of the trees. That’s not even what we do with the survey.”

Fellow commissioner Joseph Przywara said the goal is “long-term management of trees.” He wondered whether UNC or the forestry service could provide a similar service.

Jim Meyer, chairman of the town’s tree advisory committee, said the objective is “not counting trees, but counting the type of tree. We don’t know what type of tree is out there.”

It’s estimated 80 percent might be pine trees in need of management.

Davis suggested the town just consult an arborist.

“If you just want to know how to get rid of trees you need to get rid of, then the plan can come from an arborist, not having a $40,000 study done just to find out what trees we have,” he said. “You’re talking about an entirely different thing — thinning the trees.”

 

 

 

Board retreat

Munday also agreed to call new town administrator Jon Mendenhall and Chris May with the Cape Fear Council of Governments about attending the town board’s upcoming retreat March 14.

 

Sales tax resolution

Commissioners also agreed to place on their consent agenda for their upcoming monthly meeting at 2 p.m. this Thursday, March 6, a resolution supporting an additional quarter-cent county sales and use tax.

 

Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com