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(Ottumwa)— To save a number of trees, or not to save a number of trees?  That’s the question the Ottumwa City Council had to decide Tuesday evening.

Meeting in regular session Tuesday night, the council approved a department recommendation to allow the removal of a number of trees  in connection with phase five division 2 of the South Ottumwa Sewer Separation Project.

Included in phase 5 division 2 separation project is the installation of a new larger force main from the Richmond Pump station to the Finley Box Sewer.  The project also includes the removal of trees along the east side of Milner Street.  Larry Seals, City Engineer,  presented three options for the council to consider.  Option one would include the least expensive improvements for the street and sidewalks, and save the trees.  Option two was more expensive and would result in the removal of trees.  The third option was the most expensive and also included removal of some trees.

In discussing the options, Ottumwa Mayor Frank Flanders  said it’s tempting to take the view that the streets will eventually need replacement any way  so the city should do the most work now.  But that ignores the most likely timeline for sewer repairs.

Seals told the council that if the city decides to expand the street at any point in the future, it will require removal of trees along the street.

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