Cd'A approves tree plan

... but not so fast on the big trees

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COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene City Council Tuesday approved adopting a plan to begin thinning some vegetation and addressing other concerns regarding the levee along Rosenberry Drive in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' March order.

As part of the adoption, the city will still seek all other options to save the bigger trees along the road.

"It's simply a response to the Corps," City Engineer Gordon Dobler said. "We're simply saying we recognize (the concerns) with a list of the mitigation plan."

While the city could begin sealing cracks in the seawall concrete, obtain permits to allow already existing signs and benches, thin brush and fill in gullies and erosion, it will stop short of removing the bigger trees until all other avenues have been studied.

Those options could include seeking 100-year flood plain certification for Federal Emergency Management Agency insurance purposes through a third party, ask for assistance from federal representatives, or let all action wait until results from the Army Corps of Engineers is fully disclosed, to name a few.

The Army Corps of Engineers' order came after the federal department began studying maintenance and safety protocol along a number of dikes, levies and embankments nationally following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The city has two years to comply. The response plan is not binding at this point, Dobler said, should things change as the sensitive topic moves forward.

* The city also approved Tuesday $60,300 in contacts for Team McEuen to survey the landscape and study traffic patterns for the McEuen Field project.

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