Cascade considers protecting ash trees

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

CASCADE — At its Monday night meeting, the village board discussed possible steps to protect ash trees in the Cascade Memorial Park, and other ash trees the village is responsible for, from the emerald ash borer. But a decision was tabled until next month, pending a parks committee meeting and investigating further options.

Trustee Jason Harrison had received quotes from one tree service that would treat ash trees. Treatment consists of drilling small holes in each tree and pressure-injecting a solution into the tree. This treatment will be good for two or three years.

Harrison said the trees in the park are ash trees and, according to the tree service, “within four to five years, all those trees down there could all be dead.”

“Could be,” interjected Village President Dave Jaeckels.

“I didn’t say that,” Harrison said. He detailed how he’d reviewed with the service the trees the village was responsible for. Harrison said numerous options were discussed.

Jaeckels said the business owner had offered to come to the board meeting, but Jaeckels thought a first discussion within the board was the best way to start.

Trustee Tom Horner said ash trees can live over 200 years. Treating any tree every two years, he said, would be a long-term commitment.

Trustee Steve Green asked if treatment would guarantee a tree’s protection from the emerald ash borer.

Harrison replied that no tree service would make such a guarantee.

“I’ll be honest with you,” said Jaeckels. “I gave this some thought. That’s a lot of money.” He recalled when Dutch elm disease went through the area, there were claims that the trees would go “like that” (Jaeckels snapped his fingers). Jaeckels added that this new arboreal concern could be entirely different.

“I see positives to [treatment], but it’s an awful lot of money,” Jaeckels said. “That would be a large part of our budget.”

Jaeckels said he’d discussed with Harrison planting different trees for diversification, so the trees as a whole would not be so vulnerable to the next disease or pest to come along.

The board tabled the topic until next month.

• • •

The village’s investigation into a new fire hall continues. Jaeckels said discussions have started for the village to possibly purchase land on which to build a new hall.

Trustee Jim Larson told the board that new contracts for police coverage have been drawn up between Cascade and the municipalities of Lyndon, Waldo and Adell. “Everything stays the same,” he said.

“The contracts are basically identical to the old ones,” Jaeckels agreed. “We just haven’t updated them in quite awhile.”

Larson reported that the village received four building permits in the past month.

Police report for the past month: One citation for $10 (seatbelt violation); five warnings; five complaints investigated (two unlicensed vehicles [both removed within seven days], assist EMS [subject transported to hospital], suspicious party at park playground [an adult and daughter], subject driving on snowmobile trail [identified and warned]); 10 property checks; no traffic accidents investigated, arrests made, court appearances, or warrants.

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