The plans for Gill Bass park along the corridor of Canal and Pine Streets are coming along. Twelve trees are sighted for removal for forward implementation and has caused some questions lately so being after the chopping of palm trees in the medians of Highway 90.
However, according to Milton City Manager Brian Watkins, the plan for tree removal on the park property, bequeathed to the City of Milton from the Gill and Bass family in 2010, was specifically specified to be a "passive park." Watkins says the city has a plan to implement the family's desire.
Milton landscape head Lee Willingham says the trees set for removal are either leaning, damaged, scarred or diseased. Each tree was carefully considered amongst the six oaks which were recently planted. Some trees will be removed simply because they interfere with the plan, he says and it can't be helped. He continues, "if we put in a sidewalk and a tree is too close the roots, it could damage the walkway. We have to do it right the first time."
Willingham continues to say the city has created a database to inventory all trees on the city's properties and right-of-ways. "It includes a listing of heritage and protected trees, as well as condition, care and maintenance of current trees," he says. In addition, the database contains potential areas for additional plantings.
Watkins says the park is projected to cost around $200,000. He hopes the project will, with time, be completed sometime soon but has no idea when it will be. He says the city is looking at every potential avenue for funding and has to start somewhere. "The Gill Bass park is one of the gateways into the city," says Watkins.
Milton City Planner Randy Jorgenson says because of the location of the park, it is important to make it a special place. He says it's style will resemble the other improvements throughout the city.
Watkins says the city has planted over 400 trees this year and has it's application submitted to be a Tree City USA for the eighteenth year.