The city of Delaware plans to handle its backlog of 293 street trees to be planted starting with clearing up language in its current laws.

A plan of action is being developed by the city’s Parks and Natural Resources and the Finance Department to address the backlog for planting and pruning of street trees.

Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller said language in Chapter 1168.07 of the city’s codified ordinances needed further clarification on how money could be spent from the city’s Tree Bank Fund.

The law is “unclear on how to spend the money,” he said.

As the law is written, developers and property owners who remove trees have three options: they can do on-site replacement with a minimum of 50 percent of the required replacement trees at another location of the site; plant the trees at a tree bank site, usually a park; or allocate a replacement fee for each removed tree to the Tree Bank Fund.

Miller said he would work with city officials to clarify whether the money from the fund could be used to plant and maintain street trees in addition to planting trees at a park. He hopes the amended version will gain support of the commission and Delaware City Council at its October meeting.

The Tree Bank Fund has a balance of $194,845 as of Sept. 26, according to Finance Director Dean Stelzer.

By Brandon Klein

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Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.