As Shawnee city officials discuss issues with red cedar trees around the Twin Lakes, city of Tecumseh workers are slowly removing cedar trees at Tecumseh Lake, where 250 cedars in one area alone were uprooted and destroyed.
Tecumseh City Manager Jimmy Stokes reported to the city council Monday night that about one-half of all the cedar trees around Tecumseh Lake have been removed in work that’s been progressing since February.
He said crews from all city departments, including parks and recreation, line maintenance and even those from the electric department, are “pulling together” as a team to slowly chip away at the problem.
“As the guys have time, they’re taking them down and burning them,” Stokes said. “We’re hopeful to have all of them gone in the next couple months.”
Stokes, who said crews counted the removal of 250 trees from one area alone, said that number was “shocking.”
The work involves crews digging out the trees with a backhoe and burning them on site, the city manager added.
Mayor Eddy Parker, who said cedar trees consume a lot of water, complimented the efforts. He said their work, coupled with those who have been cleaning up around the shorelines of the lake, has resulted in Tecumseh Lake looking “really nice.”
While the efforts are ongoing to keep the cedar trees from soaking up water and to get rid of them as fire hazard, Stokes said there’s another benefit to the work they’re doing.
In a southeast area being cleared, Stokes said there is a goal of someday having an RV camping area, he said.
While discussing the lake, Stokes also said recent rains have helped water levels there, with the lake, which was recently nearly dry, currently being one-half full, although he said a lot more rain is needed.
In other business:
• The board approved a lot split involving the Tecumseh Growth and Developing Authority. The lot at 835 N. Broadway will be the site of a new Dollar General Store.
• Councilors approved a right-of-way, public utility and encroachment agreement for the Gordon Cooper Drive widening project. Stokes said all paperwork for easements have been submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and process of moving utilities should soon begin.
• The council approved a contract with the American Red Cross to use the city hall as a shelter during disasters or other emergencies, such as tornadoes.
• Councilors created a library advisory board to assist the city in exploring the financing and construction options of a new library building. It was decided it would be a 10-member board.
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