City enlists help for tree removal plan

COLUMBIA CITY — An Ohio company with an office in Fort Wayne has agreed to assist Columbia City in prioritizing the removal of approximately 200 ash trees from the city’s street right of way.Davey Resource Group of Kent, Ohio sent a letter agreeing to help the town with the issue to Mayor Jim Fleck Nov. 24.The Columbia City Board of Works and Safety agreed to the company’s involvement with the project at the regular meeting on Friday.In the letter, Project Manager Kasey Krouse said the company would “assist Columbia City in prioritizing the phased removal of all 200 ash trees located within the city street right of way.”Krouse said the removal of the ash trees are being done as a result of “emerald ash borers that has swept through northern Indiana killing hundreds of thousands of ash trees.”The company will prioritize the tree removal based on size, condition and location, the letter said.The trees will be divided and then removed over a four-year period, approximately 50 trees per year.The company will charge the city $55 per hour, including travel time. Krouse said the estimated time for the company to do the consulting work is 11 hours of field work plus an additional seven hours of data