Oakmont to cut nine trees to help save track at Riverside Park

September 8, 2018

Oakmont officials plan to cut nine trees in the lower level of Riverside Park to help alleviate current and future track problems.

Council on Monday authorized borough Manager Lisa Cooper Jensen to solicit bids for the work. It was unclear when a contract could be awarded.

Roots growing out of the ground have created several bumps in sections of the track, which was deemed unsafe for competition as a result last year.

Borough officials said at previous meetings five of the roughly 25 trees in the lower portion of the park across from Riverview High School were causing the problems.

Councilwoman Leah Powers explained this month that a state forester and officials from Environmental Planning and Design suggested the removal of 14 trees, and nine was a compromise.

“Those five trees may be the ones lifting the track, and the rest of them have potential the way they’re growing,” she said. “Some of them maybe could have been saved, but are in the way and showing signs of stress.”

Powers said the borough’s forming a plan to eventually replace some of the trees. The number of tree replacements has not been finalized.

Riverview High School’s track team plans to have no home track meets for the second consecutive season because of the track conditions.

Powers said she recently met with Riverview School District officials about sharing the cost of the project, and hopes to get some type of financial commitment by October.

Oakmont budgeted $70,000 for track repairs and $40,000 for tree removal.

Calls to district officials were not immediately returned.

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