Trees are a frequent topic of conversation at Gig Harbor City Council meetings, and the trend continued at Monday’s meeting.
Parks project administrator Katrina Knutson updated the Council on the status and health of the trees in Grandview Forest Park and surrounding the Civic Center near the skate park.
ABC Consulting Arborists out of Spokane was hired to perform the tree analysis, which was completed in June with each of the 720 trees within the park and Civic Center grounds analyzed for their density.
Of the 720 trees in the area, Knutson reported that 183 trees were found to be dead or dying within the studied area, with 25 trees categorized as a level one priority for removal because of the risk they pose if they were to fall.
“With these priority one trees, staff is recommending that we take care of them as quickly as possible,” Knutson said. “One hundred eighty-three out of 700 (trees), it was less than what we thought ... we do think there’s a couple of paths forward that we can definitely save the forest and make it better over time.”
Several more trees were identified as level two priority and Knutson said that a workstudy session with the Council and the arborist will be planned for the coming months to discuss a tree management plan to improve the health of Grandview Forest Park and the trees in the Civic Center grounds.
The Council approved the removal of the 25 priority one trees identified in the analysis.
Ancich Waterfront Park update
Knutson also updated the Council on the progress and proposed timeline for Ancich Waterfront Park.
Utility work for the project began Monday to move two light poles from the middle of the property to the edge of the site.
“We’re hoping to get out to bid in August of this year and have the Council award the contract in the first meeting of September,” Knutson said.
Water work for the project is planned to begin in October and upland work to begin in November, with sidewalk improvements set to be completed first.
Knutson said that there will be a six-week period where Harborview Drive will be one-way only while a sewer line is relocated under the sidewalk.
Construction crews must be out of the water by Feb. 15 of next year, Knutson said, to meet the fish window. The project is projected to be completed by June 2018, though it is currently uncertain if the project will be finished before the Maritime Gig Festival.
Federal permits for the project are anticipated to be approved within the next 30 days.
“Things are moving right along,” Knutson said.
The next City Council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. July 24 at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street. A calendar and meeting agenda can be found online at cityofgigharbor.net.