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Village president: Emerald ash borer an ‘epidemic’

 

Glen Ellyn Village President Mark Pfefferman

About 859 of the village’s parkway trees have been removed since 2008 because of the emerald ash borer “epidemic,” Village President Mark Pfefferman said.

The invasive species was one of many topics Pfefferman touched on during a nearly hour-long State of the Village Speech at the village’s civic center Monday night to a room of about a dozen residents.

Pfefferman said the village plans to replace the trees lost to the beetles, which feed on foliage. The bug was first found in Illinois in 2006 when trees in a Kane County subdivision were found infested and has made its way to many Illinois towns since then, according to Illinois Department of Agriculture.

“We’re working hard to replace them,” Pfefferman said about the lost trees. About 200 trees are expected to be planted each year until all are replaced, he said.

Anyone who believes they have a tree in their yard that is infested with the metallic green beetle should visit http://www.glenellyn.org/Public_Works/EAB.html for more information.

Here are other highlights from Pfefferman’s address:

  • The village is expected to gain 68 new parking spaces in its downtown, including about 13 more along Duane Street and 55 more a project the village recently initiated with a grant from Metra along Duane Street near the Glen Ellyn Public Library.
  • The village could face financial challenges in coming years. A five-year projectioni estimates a $13.1 million shortfall in village funds by 2017 largely due to increasing staff salaries and benefits and also capital improvements. To combat the expected deficit, Pfefferman said the village is continuing to search for ways to increase revenue like attracting new commercial development and grants, and also seeking ways to trim expenditures. Elimination of some services could be on the table going forward, he said.
  • Pfefferman said the village is pursuing several infrastructure improvements over the next year, including improvements to the Lake Ellyn channel, the Nicoll Way land bridge, Hawthorne Road and village sidewalks.
  • The village settled three lawsuits in the past year, including one with College of DuPage for $300,000, one concerning the Cottage Avenue water tower for $100,000 and one with Diamante Montessori for $115,000.

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