Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | May 25, 2018

Mystery trees appear in Fairfield

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Jun 20, 2017

A mystery person or persons has been planting trees at several properties in town.

The trees have shown up in the right-of-way outside Fairfield Fire Station, First Baptist Church, Calu Apartments and at First Lutheran Church. Fairfield code enforcement officer Scott Vaughan said that, while he appreciates the gesture, he wants to remind the person doing this that they must get a permit to plant in the right-of-way.

To plant a tree in the right-of-way between the sidewalk and street, a person must obtain a permit from city hall and call 811, Iowa One Call. Iowa One Call sends utility companies to mark the underground lines, so property owners know where it’s safe to dig. Vaughan said he doesn’t believe Iowa One Call was notified before any of the tree plantings described, nor were the property owners even informed of the planting.

“There are a variety of trees that are permissible in the right-of-way,” Vaughan said. “We want people to make sure they are planting the right type of tree so it doesn’t affect overhead power lines or underground utilities.”

Vaughan said the mystery trees began showing up earlier in the spring or perhaps last fall. He said the two trees outside the fire station are about 5 or 6 feet tall and had mulch spread around the base. He said it was clear that whoever planted the trees was intending to beautify the space, but simply didn’t know the appropriate procedures to follow.

“We’ll definitely be removing the two at the fire station,” Vaughan said. “And we’ve already got people who want those and will replant them. It will be up to the property owner themselves if they keep them. I believe the Lutheran Church and Calu apartments already removed theirs some time ago.”

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