Donation that’s a real bang for the bucks

OPH council agrees to provide funds for local July 4 fireworks show

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — The City Council was in a giving mood Tuesday night.
Besides making a $3,000 donation to the St. Croix Crossing Coalition, the council agreed to provide money to the city of Stillwater for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show.

Although the donation amount will not be known until the city’s final 2012 audit is finished, City Administrator Eric Johnson said this year’s donation would probably be the same $7,000 Oak Park Heights contributed to last summer’s show.
Johnson said the 2012 fireworks show donation came out of the city’s contingency fund and this year’s donation likely will come from the same source. He added that city staff anticipates an unallocated 2012 budget surplus once the audit is finished.

In other actions Tuesday, the council:

Asked Johnson to continue trying to get Xcel Energy officials to come to a council meeting to explain company plans for clearing trees along Xcel’s transmission lines through the city.

City officials learned about Xcel’s tree-trimming plans from a company notice mailed to property owners in areas where Xcel’s contractor plans to work. Xcel supervisor Brad Weidenfeller writes in the notice that Wright Tree Service would perform “routine maintenance” according to the utility’s vegetation management guidelines on tranmission lines running through Oak Park Heights.

“This work may include pruning and removing tall growing tree species, mowing in the transmission corridor right-of-way, and the application of herbicides,” Weidenfeller writes. “All herbicides are EPA-approved and applied by licensed professionals.”
Johnson said he has sent emails to Xcel officials asking utility representatives to attend a council meeting and explain the utility’s plans. He added that he asked company officials to delay any tree trimming work until the Feb. 26 council session.
Johnson said some city residents are concerned about the scope of Xcel’s intended work.
“They have an intention to clear cut sections of the city,” he said about residents’ fears.
Mayor Mary McComber said she wants to hear more about Xcel’s trimming plans based on the utility’s previous tree-trimming work.
“It would be nice to know their plans,” she said. “They previously cut down good trees and left box elders and buckthorn. I think it’s really important to know what they’re going to do.”


  • Re-appointed Tim Krieger and Court Melin to three-year terms on the city Parks Commission. The pair will serve until Dec. 31, 2015, when they will leave the commission under panel by-laws that limit commissioners to two consecutive terms.
  •  Approved May 18 and Oct. 5 as the city’s spring and fall clean-up events, pending approval from Andersen Corp. to use the company’s Oak Park Heights office parking lot for the events.