Removing the ash tree was one important change made official Monday night to the Liberty Township tree policy.
First approved in 1999, Liberty Township’s 12-year-old tree planting and management policy was targeted and undertaken for updates by township administrator Dave Anderson and zoning inspector Holly Foust.
Anderson said the most dramatic revision was in removing the ash tree from the approved street tree list. Millions of ash trees have been killed since the emerald ash borer, a wood-boring beetle, was accidentally introduced to North America in the late 90s.
The policy also outlines that the ash tree is on the unacceptable list with a number of other trees.
The policy also reduces the number of members on the township’s tree advisory committee from nine to five members. Those committee members would consist of the township administrator, the road superintendent, the zoning inspector, a representative from a homeowners’ association or developer and a township trustee.
April Oney, the co-chairwoman with the Liberty Lakes subdivision homeowners’ association, recently asked the trustees if they could help remove and replace about 140 dead or near-dead ash trees in that subdivision.
The township plans to take the trees down, but the owners are responsible for stump removal, Anderson told Oney Monday.
Oney asked if the township’s updated policy required that those in subdivisions replace trees that are removed.
Anderson said that the township couldn’t force subdivisions to do that, and it’s up to the various homeowners’ covenants.
“Hopefully, people will realize they need to be replaced,” Oney said.
Trustees Mary Carducci and Curt Sybert approved the measure in a 2-0 vote. Trustee Bob Mann was excused from Monday’s meeting.
In other business, the trustees promoted Randy Lieb to road superintendent. He was appointed as acting road superintendent on July 11 when the former superintendent, John Walkup, retired. Lieb’s salary will be $60,000 a year.
The Aug. 15 trustees meeting also was rescheduled for Aug. 22.