I’ve spoken to arborists over the past several years that said this was coming – we’re dominated by ash trees in many of our city areas – including Belgrade and Manhattan. As they become infected and die, we’ll need to be thinking of replanting. This will affect citizens in the City of Bozeman on their Tree and Lighting taxes.
City raising taxes for tree maintenance
by Whitney Bermes Chronicle Staff Writer Aug 15, 2017
The cost of taking care of the city’s trees is going up, something the City Commission wholeheartedly supported Monday.
In a 4-0 vote, Bozeman City Commissioners approved increasing the tree maintenance assessment by 15 percent, to collect nearly $702,000 this fiscal year to help take care of trees in city parks and right of ways.
“This is very, very important for taking care of trees,” said Commissioner I-Ho Pomeroy of the increased assessment.The 15 percent increase will amount to about $102,000 in additional money for tree maintenance. That means an average residential lot of 7,500 square feet will pay $24.84 for the year.
The increase comes as part of the city’s tree plan it approved in 2016 to help with managing city-owned trees in Bozeman.Commissioner Chris Mehl said the additional funds will be “well spent.” Not only will taking care of the city’s dying trees help with public safety, it can help diversify the types of trees in the city, trees that add property value for citizens and help reduce heat in the summertime, Mehl said.
The money will help the city deal with emerald ash borer, a beetle native to eastern Asia, that targets ash trees. And ash trees constitute about 80 percent of Bozeman’s trees in downtown and half the urban forest citywide.
The plan not only calls for treating the city’s 4,000 mature ash trees to help them survive infestation, but also removing trees and planting other species.“Another argument for diversity in another sphere,” said Bozeman Mayor Carson Taylor.
The funds will help the city anticipate problems and deal with them accordingly, exactly what government should be doing, Taylor said.
“Imagine driving down Willson (Avenue) with all those ash trees dead,” Taylor said. “We’ll be ready for this.”Commissioner Jeff Krauss recused himself and did not participate in the vote.