Tri-Village News

Dying trees spell end of village light display


Tri-Village-area residents who enjoy the display of Christmas lights on the pine trees located on the Cambridge Boulevard island in Marble Cliff should make sure they see them this holiday season.

Six of the trees are in such poor health that Marble Cliff Village Council, during its meeting Monday, Dec. 17, approved a contract with Peterman Tree and Lawn Service to remove them.

"I've been trying to prepare people that this may be the last year for a large (display) of lights" on the Cambridge Island, Mayor Kent Studebaker said.

The village may be able to put up a smaller light display next year, he said.

After examining the trees, Grandview Heights City Arborist Mike McKee determined two of them are dead, Administrative Assistant Bill Johannes said.

"He said we need to take the trees down because they will never recover," Johannes said. "He suggested we might be able to plant a blue spruce" in place of some of the pines.

Three of the trees to be removed are located on the southwest side of the island; the other three are on the northeast side.

Part of the problem is that nearby oak trees have grown so large, their shade is adversely affecting the pine trees, Johannes said.

Removing the pine trees will greatly change the familiar look of the island, he said.

"You will be able to see all the way across the street," Johannes said.

Council agreed to accept Peterman's bid of $1,197 to remove the Christmas lights from the pines and then bring down the trees.

The lights have been arrayed on the trees for several years.

Also at this week's meeting, council approved the village budget for 2013.

The total budget amount is $1,466,876. The general fund expenditures total a little more than $1.2 million.

Fiscal Officer Cindy McKay told council that if the year had ended Dec. 17, the village's deficit for the year would have been $18,000 -- much less than originally anticipated.

At the beginning of the year, the expectation was the village would see a $50,000 deficit for the year, she said.

The primary reason for the reduction of the deficit is the increase in income tax revenue coming to the village because of increased occupancy at the former NiSource building at 1600 Dublin Road and other locations in Marble Cliff, McKay said.

If the windfall of estate tax revenue the village received late in the year is included, the village actually will see a surplus for 2012, she said.