Some 40 trees in Hastings will be removed by Hometown Tree Services to make way for sidewalks under the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School grant, Department of Public Services Director Lee Hays told the Hastings City Council Monday.
The MDOT grant mandates sidewalks be parallel to the roadway, and not “jog” around trees. All of the trees, in about 25 different locations, are in city owned rights-of-way, and homeowners near the trees are getting hand-delivered notices of the removals.
Hays said there have been few objections; if a homeowner requests, a tree can be replaced during the fall tree plantings. Trees smaller than three inches around can be moved to a nearby location out of the path of the sidewalk, Hays said. Consumers Energy is moving eight utility poles out of the way of sidewalks.
The trees must be removed before the end of March to avoid the cuttings during the migrating season of certain endangered bats, he said. The cost is $10,000.
In other business, the city will upgrade and replace several pipes at the Carlton Township oxidation facility by GVL Excavating for $12,497 to be paid from the township’s sewer maintenance fund.
Also, the out of date communications/emergency notifications system at the facility, still on dial-up modem, will be upgraded for $13,275.28 by Integrated Controls, Inc., also to be paid from the maintenance fund. Carlton Township has approved both projects.
*The first reading of an amendment to the zoning code to allow balconies in the city’s downtown, under some circumstances, was held. The second reading and consideration of the change will occur at the next meeting.
*The YMCA was given permission to use the volleyball courts at Tyden and the skate park.
*The streets used for Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament last year will again be closed during the event on June 23, 24 and 25.
*The council approved two sheep being displayed in a small fenced enclosure in Tyden Park on May 20 during a fundraising canoe race, “Paddle for a Cure” for the treatment of Huntington’s disease.