Drought is hitting McPherson’s trees hard.
Paul Katzer, park superintendent for the city of McPherson, reported to the McPherson City Commission on Monday he’s already marked a number of maple trees to be cut down due to death by dehydration.
“It’s like freeze-dried coffee,” Katzer said. “The cells expand when it starts to warm up, burst, and they don’t recover.”
Katzer also provided some tips on successfully watering plants.
For larger trees, Katzer recommended watering a spot at the base for 45 minutes to an hour, then moving to another spot at the base, covering at least three different spots.
For smaller trees and shrubbery, Katzer recommends drilling a quarter-inch hole in the side of a bucket near the bucket’s bottom, filling the bucket with water then leaving the bucket at the base of the tree to slowly drain water into the nearby soil overtime.
To encourage residents to water their plants this season, the city approved an amendment to winter water calculations that will base the sewer rates for the 2012-2013 winter months on the average from the 2011-2012 winter months.
Nick Gregory, city administrator, said sewer rates are typically calculated during the winter months.
Since most people don’t water outdoors during the winter, most of the water used will be runoff that is returned to the sewer more than any other months.
The city wants to encourage residents to water their plants during this dry season.
Therefore, the city unanimously approved the amendment to winter water calculations on Monday.
Gregory wanted to remind residents the amendment won’t affect water bills; residents will still be charged for the extra water use.
In other business:
• Commissioners unanimously approved a request by the McPherson Fire Department for the yearly purchase of uniforms, as well as the purchase of a used Chevrolet 2008 pickup truck. The truck will act as a replacement for an older model to be rotated out of the fleet. The budget approved for the uniforms was $6,680, and the budget approved for the truck was $21,495.
• Commissioners unanimously approved a request by the McPherson Police Department for the purchase of six new desktop computers. The computers will replace six aging models. The approved budget for the computers was $4,014.
• Commissioners approved a resolution for the sale and distribution of temporary notes for the Barnstormers West Field addition at a 0.7 percent interest rate.