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Council Preview: Money needed to fight pest, MTO talks overpasses

THUNDER BAY -- After a brief summer hiatus, city council meets again tonight, and the city's urban forester will be asking council for funding to deal with the emerald ash borer.
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THUNDER BAY -- After a brief summer hiatus, city council meets again tonight, and the city's urban forester will be asking council for funding to deal with the emerald ash borer.

The invasive beetle has been found in Thunder Bay, and city staff are asking council for direction on what to do next. 

Even if the city does nothing, simply removing and replacing the city's 6,000 ash trees as they die would cost an estimated $7.6 million over 10 years.

The borer is an invasive species, which can quickly destroy an area of ash trees. 

City staff say dead trees must be removed as they represent a safety hazard. 

For now, staff is asking council to approve $550,000 in next year's budget to chemically treat 150 ash trees and remove 150 others. 

Council will also hear from officials with the Ministry of Transportation about the plan to create overpasses and new interchanges along the Thunder Bay Expressway. 

An open house on those options is scheduled for Tuesday at the Valhalla Inn.

(TBT News)