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Plan To Replace Third Street Oaks To Be Presented | News, Sports, Jobs

Plan To Replace Third Street Oaks To Be Presented | News, Sports, Jobs
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In late 2020, city officials started removing 43 oak trees along West Third Street in Jamestown due to safety concerns. A plan will be presented to the Jamestown City Council this month on how the trees will be replaced along West Third Street. PJ photo by Dennis Phillips

A plan on how the Third Street “Cathedral Oaks” will be replaced is expected to be presented to the Jamestown City Council this month.

During the council’s monthly voting session meeting this week, city resident John Zabrodsky asked city residents what their plan is to replace the towering oak trees that were cut down in late 2020. Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the plan will be presented to the council this month During one of two work session meetings, scheduled for 7:30 pm Monday, March 7, and March 21. He said the draft plan will be presented to the council and then a public meeting will be held to further discuss the proposal.

In December 2020, Dan Stone, city parks manager, announced during a special meeting of the Jamestown Parks, Recreation & Conservation Commission the decision to cut down 43 oak trees, most of them more than 100 years old. He said during a wind storm Nov. 15, 2020, that two oak trees — with some of them as tall as 150 to 200 feet — were blown down, with one landing on a residential garage. In October 2019, a large oak toppled down, with portions of the tree landing on a home.

Stone said the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, which annually makes a donation of new trees, will provide money to purchase new trees that will be planted along West Third Street. In 2020, he said some of the new trees that might be planted include American elms, tulip and ginkgo. He is also looking into purchasing some items that will help manage how the tree roots grow along the terrace.

In other business:

¯ The council approved two new appointments to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities: Tamu Graham-Reinhardt and Thomas Nelson, former members of the council.

In January, the council voted down Sundquist’s original nominees of Sean Connor and Sabrina Gustafson. Sundquist had nominated Connor and Gustafson to replace Greg Rabb, who was the BPU’s board chairman, and James Olson, former city clerk and finance director.

After the meeting, Anthony Dolce, council president, said he believes the council approved Graham-Reinhardt and Nelson because they know both of them from their time on the council.

“Both of them have working knowledge, obviously, of the BPU since we’ve been dealing with that for several years on the council.” Dolce said. “I think people felt comfortable with knowing who they were and knowing that they have some level of experience.”

¯ The council approved several resolutions allocating American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward improvement projects and new equipment.

One of the projects was the Chadakoin River Stabilization project, with the city proposing to hire the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy for $277,500 to oversee phase one work, which will include clearing debris and removing dead trees.

In December, the council approved a resolution designating $277,750 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for phase one of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy Chadakoin River Stabilization project. Twan Leenders, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s ecological restoration manager, gave a presentation to the council at the time regarding the worrisome state of the Chadakoin River within city limits.

“For those who are not aware, there are 5.75 miles of Chadakoin River within the city limits of Jamestown which, in itself, is kind of crazy to think about,” he said. “The section between McCrea Point and the water dam is less than a mile — it’s where all the attention goes to the river because it’s the connection to Chautauqua Lake. It’s the obvious spot that seems to be the obvious driver for economic development.”

Leenders said there are 3 1/2 miles of river that have not received attention in a while. He pointed out various portions of this section of river that have broken retaining walls, areas that require some type of retaining system, and other areas where water is running over and through areas.

Leenders said this is due to a large amount of water currently in the Chadakoin that could be further impacted by the snowfall that could happen over the winter.

In other areas, there are exposed banks that have been caving in over the years due to the current from the river. In one photo, Leenders explained that a homemade wall of old tires and the trees that had grown in between them were the only things keeping the bank up in that section of the river.

The overall projected budget totals $633,908 for the two-year project. This includes five phases: debris removal and tree clearing, invasive vegetation removal, revegetation of exposed banks, risk assessment, plan development and outreach and emergency bank stability.

The council also approved allocating $180,000 of ARPA funds for new playground equipment and a 5-foot-wide handicap accessible path at Nordstrom Park. Earlier this month, Stone said the path is needed for the future playground planned at the park to make it handicap accessible.

The council approved ARPA funding of $36,075 to go toward internet technology improvements; $30,000 for new park signs; $30,000 for new ball field mix for six baseball fields; and $14,000 for new hand dryers at city parks.

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