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Officials plan to spruce up parks

Cleanup projects are being planned for Pepper Branch Park and the area called Sallys Alley.
“I did notice some X’s on some of the trees at Pepper Branch Park,” said Vice Mayor Ben Newman, chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, at last week’s meeting. “They do appear to be dead trees.”
City administrator David Rutherford says approximately five dead trees have been removed and those with X’s are under consideration to be next.
The marked trees are located in the wooded area around the old boat ramp. McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock says he and landscape manager Hank Patton looked at the area and dismissed an idea to clear the area out of fear of making the ground unstable.
“Hank and I looked at it and talked about it,” Brock said. “He said he wouldn’t advise cutting anything off the bank or by the old bridge ramp. He has cleaned up a lot of the area, but he wouldn’t recommend clear-cutting. The ground is pretty stable and we don’t want to change that. If something particular needs to come out, we can take a look at it.”
Newman says he visits the area a lot and it could stand some improvements.
“That area could be beautiful,” he said. “I go down there at lot. I know a lot of people go down there. There seems to be a lot of loose gravel in different areas.”
Public Works employees spruce up the area, while heavy rains undo what was done. The cycle is one the department is willing to continue, says Brock.
“We have fixed it over the years, just to have heavy rains come and move stuff around,” Brock said. “We just have to go in a fix it every time. We can do a cleanup of that type again, if you want us to.”
When it comes to Sallys Alley, its cleanup has been put on hold until after Groundhog Day due to the weather. The area is living up to its designation as being in a flood plain.
“When you saw the area, the weather was good,” said Brock. “It’s just too nasty to work down there. When drier weather sets in, we will get down there and see what can be done.”
No date was set for tree removal or the clearing of Sallys Alley.

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