Root rot has been a bit of a bugaboo for Gig Harbor, and now it’s forcing the removal of trees in Grandview Forest Park.
The removal contract was passed by the City Council because of the liability issues raised by sick trees.
“I fear having a family walking out in the park and having a tree blow over and them being killed,” council member Casey Arbenz said.
Root rot has been prevalent in the area, forcing the removal of other trees around town. Kopachuck State Park is now day-use only because root rot endangers campers.
The roots of trees are destroyed by a fungus, rotting it from inside.
Grandview Forest Park is adjacent to the Gig Harbor Civic Center. Council member Michael Perrow said as a resident of the area he hopes that the city will make a concentrated outreach effort. People near the park might not know why and how these trees are being removed.
Another tree removal contract was passed by the council. A tree along Soundview Drive has been under observation by the public works department. Over time it has been dying from the top down. The worry is it could injure motorists and pedestrians as well as damage property.
The contract for the tree removal is $5,099.50, which seemed a little steep to Arbenz.
“It seems expensive for one tree,” he said.
However, staff says the money will go to traffic mitigation during removal and specialized equipment needed due to the size of the tree.
In addition to the tree removal discussions, the council also celebrated the approval of a grant to help restore the Ancich Netshed and the upper area of Ancich Park.
The requested grants were right on the bubble of the state biennial budget, but as the state Legislature wrapped up this month the grants were approved.
The Ancich property is slated to become an area for human-powered vessels. That includes the the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team, which is looking for a permanent home in the harbor.
Also in the legislative update, City Administrator Ron Williams shared the transportation requests by the West Sound Alliance were included in the state budget.
A state Route 16 corridor study and a Tacoma Narrows Bridge tax deferment were both passed by the Legislature.