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Spring Hope gives tree advisory board the ax

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SPRING HOPE — The Spring Hope Board of Commissioners has one fewer advisory body after a decision Feb. 3 to graft the town’s Tree Board responsibilities onto the Downtown Advisory Board.

Town Manager Jae Kim said all but one member of the practically defunct Tree Board is in favor of the move.

Kim said the Tree Board met so infrequently that some members didn’t remember they were members while others showed no interest in continuing to serve on the board.

“The only opposition to any changes was from Joe Wilkerson. He stated that he thought it should be left alone and stay the way it is. He did not believe it was a good idea to move it within the (Downtown Development Board),” Kim said during the meeting, quoting from a memo he authored and attached to the meeting’s agenda.

Other members of the Tree Board, including Warren Boone, Danny Alston and Roger Warren, told Kim they were OK with disbanding the board.

In putting forth a motion, Commissioner Drew Griffin said since the Tree Board isn’t meeting and the Downtown Development Board meets regularly, the former panel’s responsibiliies should be given to the latter board.

Griffin also said he’d like an annual report from the Downtown Development Board concerning the town’s trees.

Former Tree Board members may still be called upon by the commissioners to consult on tree-related matters.

The Downtown Development Board has absorbed the Tree Board’s duties, which include facilitating the planting and growth of trees in the town limits; communicating the needs of healthy trees; conducting surveys of existing trees; investigating grant, loan and contribution opportunities; and performing feasibility studies.