Crabapple trees to be axed

WILMINGTON — The crabapple trees located within the sidewalk corridor on courthouse square will be removed.

The decision was made during a meeting appointment between Rick Stanforth and Clinton County commissioners. Stanforth, a former Clinton County commissioner himself, was in front of commissioners Wednesday on behalf of Chris Hodgson of the Wilmington Tree Commission.

“They’re just the wrong tree at the wrong spot,” Stanforth said. “It is not an urban tree. It is not in a recommended place,” he elaborated.

The Wilmington Tree Commission is expected to recommend several options of tree varieties that would be suitable to replace the crabapple trees. The new trees could be planted as early as this fall.

Whatever type the replacement tree ends of being, they won’t have the spring color that the crabapple has in its favor, said Stanforth, “but you can have a more functional tree out there that works well.”

The small fruit of the downtown crabapple trees was supposed to be eaten by birds, Stanforth said, but that doesn’t happen often and the fruit drops all over the sidewalk and makes “an absolute mess.”

Moreover, the crabapple trees’ branches are low, he said, adding the trees weren’t planted with a lot of forethought about where they were placed near parking spaces.

Clinton County Commissioner President Mike Curry said the City of Wilmington made a mistake when it planted Bradford Pear trees downtown. Those trees were later taken down.

In other news from the commissioners session, commissioners want some clarification from the county coroner on his plans for the coroner office’s administrative assistant. As previously reported, a travel request was submitted to the commissioners to send the administrative assistant to a three-day seminar, with the expenses estimated at $1,500 for lodging, mileage, registration and meals.

In late July, commissioners were told the coroner’s administrative assistant would be used as a backup investigator if Clinton County Coroner Investigator Gary Garrison is not available or would suddenly decide to retire.

On Wednesday, all three commissioners said using the administrative assistant as a backup investigator represents a change in prior plans for staff at the coroner’s office.

Clinton County Coroner Ronald Seaman, M.D., will be asked to stop in at the commissioners office to discuss the matter.

More news from the commissioners office:

The care-taking of the Clinton County Veterans Memorial, located on the northeast corner of courthouse square, will be a topic at an upcoming commissioners session.

Commissioners appointed Duane Weyand, who is Wilmington chief of police, to fill an unexpired term on the local Elderly Services Board. The board makes recommendations or suggestions to commissioners about meeting the needs that are within the local senior population.

The other board members are Karen Buckley, Tim Prestridge, Carol Weber, Timothy Hawk, Larry Roddy, Gene Breckel, Kathi Spirk and Rev. Tom Stephenson.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

Rick Stanforth, a former member of the Wilmington Tree Commission, speaks Wednesday with the Clinton County commissioners. Stanforth, a former member of the Wilmington Tree Commission, speaks Wednesday with the Clinton County commissioners.

By Gary Huffenberger

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