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City officials say Green River tree removal involves tree board

The city plans to remove some trees in Green River to improve the drainage. Rae Yost/Morris Sun Tribune

A planned improvement in the Green River has some residents of Morris worried about the trees.

Trees will be removed to improve drainage in the area as part of an infrastructure project in the Brook Street, North Court, South Court, East Court and Eleanor Avenue area.

A group of residents were at the March 14 Morris City Council meeting to discuss the removal of at least 40 trees in the city over the past several months. Several of those residents also shared concerns about planned tree removal in the Green River area.

Vicki Graham said it will be important to have the city's tree board involved in any tree removal in the Green River drainage project.

City manager Blaine Hill said the city's tree board has already been involved in the planned tree removal in Green River. "The tree board has given a thumbs to on tree removal (plan) there," Hill said.

Hill said it's important to know the Green River is a major drainage ditch for all of Morris and the drainage flow needs to be improved.

"Will there be trees that need to be removed there? Absolutely," Hill said. "There are trees growing in the river."

"I live close to Green River," council member Brian Solvie said. The flow in the Green River has an impact in Morris, especially after a big rain, he said. "We can have a dozen people in town whose basements get flooded (after a big rain)," Solvie said. On Eleanor Avenue, a resident has water nearly reach his back door, Solvie said.

While trees will be removed, "we're not making a clean sweep," Solvie said. The removal will be selected, Solvie and Hill said.

Hill said later in the meeting after tree supporters had left that the city's consultant engineer Jeff Kuhn, of Widseth, Smith, Nolting will be meeting with the tree board.

The main areas of overgrowth on Green River are in a two block area in the Eleanor Avenue and the Skyview Lane area, Hill said.