CHICAGO HEIGHTS | The City Council on Monday gave the go ahead to seek bids for a tree removal and maintenance program.
"This is for removing dead trees as well as trimming trees," Chief of Staff Lisa Aprati said. "It is going to be a citywide program and $100,000 has been budgeted from our MFT (Motor Fuel Tax) account for this work."
Aprati said one of the top complaints the city receives from residents is regarding lack of tree maintenance.
"I know we're not gonna get to all the dead trees with $100,000, but we will make a significant impact," Mayor David Gonzalez said.
He encouraged residents to inform the city if they or their neighbors have dead trees in parkways so those trees can be put on a list for removal by the street department.
The City Council approved the tree removal program unanimously, although Aldermen Walter Mosby (Ward 1), Wanda Rodgers (Ward 3) and Sylvia Torres (Ward 7) were not present.
Fourth Ward Alderman Joshua Deabel suggested that the $100,000 be split evenly among the city's seven wards, but Gonzalez disagreed.
"We are going to concentrate on where the dead trees are," Gonzalez said. "To divvy it up between wards to me is unacceptable because it's not about how much each alderman can get for his ward."
In other action, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance regulating fees for birth and death certificates.
The city previously charged $10 for the first copy requested and $5 for each additional copy. The new ordinance charges a flat rate of $10 per copy.
Corporation Counsel T.J. Somer said the change was a reaction to the state changing its fee structure.