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Committee discusses treatment of Emerald Ash Borer found in village

Sept. 5, 2012

The village of Brown Deer Finance and Public Works Committee met Wednesday to discuss a plan of attack for Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that rapidly kills ash trees and was recently discovered in the village.

The committee discussed the removal or treatment of trees to stop the infestation of the insect that will kill untreated trees within a few years. So far, the borer has been detected in one street tree on 47th Street, on the south side of Brown Deer.

"You don't prevent it," said Operations Superintendent of the Department of Public Works Larry Neitzel. "Once you've got the bug, it's probably all over the place."

Treatment on trees located on the north side of the village, where the bug is not believed to be in mass quantities yet, will begin at the end of September. A fund was started a few years ago as part of the village's Capital Improvement Program to go toward Emerald Ash Borer.

The Finance and Public Works Committee did not vote on allocating additional funds Wednesday; however, committee members did say they would support increasing the EAB budget in 2013. There is currently $7,500 in the EAB fund.

"I have no problem in recommending this increase, but I would like to see staff do an equal reduction in some other part of the CIP so we're not just escalating costs for this program, but we're maintaining the budget," said Village Board Trustee Terry Boschert. "The funds can come from someplace else and we'll divert them for this program."

The budget and CIP will be discussed and voted on in coming months.

Neitzel also asked that the committee begin to review the current landscape ordinance to determine how involved private property owners need to become to stop the insect from spreading.

"What we would be looking at is to make revisions in the code listing EAB and what the authority I would have as far as EAB in ordering the removal or treatments of the trees," he said.

The borer destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark of ash trees. There are an estimated 800 village-owned ash trees and about 16,000 trees on private property in Brown Deer.

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