As you may know, there are currently 150 trees in Oak Park infected with Dutch elm disease. Our beautiful urban forest, which beautifies and literally cools the village, is dying. One of the reasons, I believe, is the cost of injection with the two drugs, Arbor Tech or Dutch Trig. Homeowners, already among the highest property taxes in Illinois, simply cannot justify spending $400 and more to save what is village property.
I ask the board to initiate a cost-sharing program with homeowners for this inoculation. Just as homeowners are inclined to replace public sidewalks in front of their homes because of cost-sharing with the village, so they will be more inclined to pay to save elm trees if the costs are shared. I should note that some communities in the Chicago area value their trees to such an extent that they pay the entire cost of inoculation.
Cost-sharing would truly be a commitment to a “green” village.