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City agrees to remove ash trees - and crow problem

Goodbye, crows?

And possibly goodbye crow droppings, at least at the county justice center, now that the Austin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board has approved a conceptual plan that will replace the ash trees along First Street Northeast with ornamental trees.

The ash trees were causing problems with bird droppings because crows were roosting in the ash trees, adjacent to where the county plans to put a parking lot.

Mower County has had to clean the new building because of the large amount of droppings on the the county's new justice center. Officials say they have spent about $10,000 power-washing the building, which is scheduled to open in fall. The county decided in March to ask the city to remove the trees because the crows are a regular nuisance.

Two of the targeted blocks of First Street Northeast remain part of the construction site but will become a southbound, one-way road with parking on both sides for the justice center.


Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Kim Underwood said the trees are too large for the block, up-end the sidewalk and have scars on them. The fact that they're ash trees, which could be hit by the emerald ash borer, is another point against them, she said.

"This is a great opportunity for everyone to clean it up and not leave it," she said.

The city won't act until the Mower County board approves the plan, Underwood said. The county would pay the city $10,000 to remove those trees if the plan gets final approval.

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