Petition to the city, January 2018

This petition, signed by 23 residents, was submitted to the city in early January. It was entered into the record at the January 11, 2018 meeting of the Board of Aldermen. That record, as well as links to the minutes of meetings where it was discussed are all available at this link

A Petition to the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen of the City of Somerville

We, the undersigned, petition the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen to take the following actions related to the removal of 37 trees from Beacon Street on October 6, 2017:

Publish an accounting:

We ask that the City publish an accounting of all street trees removed from Beacon Street between January 2016 and the present. While this request is specific to the Beacon Street Reconstruction project, the list should also include trees removed for any other reason.

For each tree removed, the accounting should include:

  • Tree location (closest street address), diameter (“caliper”), and date of removal.
  • The relevant location information as stated on contract page A00802-4, if the tree is among the 30 listed in the Beacon Street Reconstruction contract (MassDOT Project 607209, Contract Number 90025).
  • A summary of the arborist’s report/engineer’s justification, if the tree was removed as part of the reconstruction project and is not listed in the contract (as required on contract page A00801-48).
  • A summary explanation if the tree was removed for some other reason or as part of some other project.

If any of the trees removed as part of the reconstruction project lack the above justification, we further petition for the following actions:

Refuse payment:

Instruct MassDOT to reduce payment to Newport Construction, Inc., by $1,000 per unauthorized removal. This is the amount that Newport bid for removal of a single tree.

Compensate the City:

We ask that the City demand cash compensation from the contractor. The contract (pages A00801-46 and A00801-50) specifies that the contractor must provide two–inch-diameter replacement trees, beyond the 191 specified in the contract bid, and totaling the “caliper” measure destroyed during the project. Instead of these additional saplings, we suggest a rate of $300 per inch of tree diameter destroyed, since the contracted price of a two–inch-diameter sapling is $600.

We ask that this money be placed in a fund to be used to support watering and other care for the trees of Beacon Street.

Bar Newport from Future Tree Work:

Because of the inappropriate manner in which Newport performed the work on October 6, 2017, we ask that they and their subcontractors be barred from performing any tree work in Somerville for the next five years.