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City Continues Battle Against Emerald Ash Borer

City administrators are seeking a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grant to pay for part of the city's forestry program the next two years, including treatment of EAB as well as a tree inventory.

Port Washington officials are hoping to obtain an urban forestry grant through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in part to help with its recently detected Emerald Ash Borer problem.

The Common Council on Tuesday gave City Engineer Rob Vanden Noven the approval to apply for the grant to help the city pay for a tree inventory, tree planting and Emerald Ash Borer treatment. The city could get up to $25,000 to cover rougly half the costs of the projects taking place the next two years.

The city confirmed that EAB was found in the 400 block of North Powers Street on June 15. Port Washington had stopped planting ash trees along city streets in 2005 as a preventative step to the growing problem, a press release from the city said. Since 2002, the city also aggressively planted new street trees, increasing the total number of street trees from approximately 5,000 trees in 2001, to more than 8,000 trees in 2012.

If Port Washington fails to get the grant or is awarded significantly less money, he said the projects will be scaled back, mostly in the tree inventory.

Vanden Noven said the last tree inventory took place in 2007 and it was recommended at that time another take place in 2010, but the city fell behind.

The deadline to apply for the grant was Monday, but Vanden Noven said he submitted paperwork on Sept. 28. The pursuit of the grant got unanimous approval by the common council Tuesday evening. 

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