Friday, October 24, 2008

Update on the Historic Courthouse

Just wanted to give you all an update on the work at the historic courthouse -

The general contractor, Headley Construction has begun work. The next outwardly visible part of the work will be the removal of the oak trees. White Meadows Tree Service, a subcontractor to Estes Landscaping and Headley Construction, will begin as early as Monday morning next week (October 27.) Work is projected to take much of the week and to occur during normal business hours. The next week (November 3) a 6 foot construction fence will go up to protect the construction site.

If you remember, the older oak trees were evaluated by four different arborists and the results were unanimous. The trees present a health and safety concern. One of the trees has already been removed because it was an immediate safety concern after its condition was discovered. The rest of the largest oak trees are nearing the end of their natural life and are affecting the structural integrity of the sidewalk and the wall – but most importantly, several of them are dangerous to people and property. The arborists’ reports all contained concern about the large trees. There are places with decay, limited structural integrity and weak spots. According to the arborists’ reports, these trees will only continue to deteriorate and be a danger to citizens, vehicles and the courthouse. In addition, these trees are not in a healthy growing condition, due to their location. They have physical limitations and reduced growing areas.

The plan is to replace all the large water oak trees with other specimens, which are more tolerant to physical restrictions and the urban environment. By replacing them all at the same time, the growth will be the same and will enhance the court square instead of detracting from it. Three of the four magnolia trees would remain as part of this plan, although their growth has been affected by the water oaks and it will take some time and pruning to insure they grow healthy and beautiful. One of the magnolias was damaged when a large limb blew off one of the oaks.

The magnolia and the oaks will all be replaced in the new plan. The oaks will be replaced with trees in the 8-10 inch diameter range.

I appreciate your help in spreading the word about the changes at the courthouse. It will certainly look different next week.

Have a great weekend -

Patricia Palmer, APR
Public Information Officer
Coweta County Government

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