Omer to receive tree grant


OMER — The city of Omer is set to receive a grant for up to $3,000 from Consumers Energy for planting 26 trees around the city in 2011, City Clerk Sue Oliver announced during the city’s council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24.

As part of the grant program, Consumers Energy offers the city $100 for each tree planted in approved public areas. Planting 26 trees should equal a $2,600 grant, Oliver told the council in December.

The electrical company’s main directive on tree placement, Oliver said, is avoiding electrical wires. In order to receive the grant money, the city provided the company with a map showing where officials proposed planting trees.

“Any time we can get a tree grant, I think that’s wonderful,” Oliver said.

The bulk of the trees planted in 2011 for the program were located around the baseball field near city hall, where Oliver said there is no shade. A few more were placed in the Omer city park.

The city selected which types of trees to plant, though Consumers Energy requires the trees cost no more than $100 each. Oliver admitted the city had paid more than that for a couple trees, but she said it should not affect getting the grant this year, as long as officials pay more attention to the price tag next time.

Oliver said there were also some problems with one tree’s location. Consumers Energy representative Jon Hall told city officials the tree was in the wrong spot. Oliver said she was in contact with Jeff Mayes from Consumers, who said he would look into it.

If the additional tree is counted, then Omer should have 27 trees as part of the grant.

This is the second time Omer has taken part in the grant program. Oliver said the city received $1,275 in 2010 through the tree-planting program.



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You gotta be kidding me. Last I checked, there are a few thousand acres of trees surrounding Omer... and Consumers is going to pay good money to plant more of them?

Meanwhile, how many Omer residents are staring at shut-off notices and have no idea how they're going to pay the bill?

This is absolutely insane and should be considered an obscene waste of money by any righteous person.

If $3000 needs to be spent, how about using it to actually help some folks with their electrical bill?

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