In February, Fort Bend County Road and Bridge granted the city of Rosenberg 280 free oak trees.
But nothing is really free.
At the most recent Rosenberg City Council workshop meeting, council members discussed the cost of landscape irrigation for the live oak trees donated by Fort Bend County.
City staff revealed that irrigation and installation for the trees could cost anywhere between $240,000 and $344,000.
This project would be scheduled in three phases to allow the county’s contractor time to prepare the trees.
Council agreed in February that the trees would be planted at center medians along major thoroughfares along Bryan Road, Spacek Road and possibly Town Center Boulevard.
City staff explained that while the trees would be free, the city would have to pay for irrigation and other upkeep.
“When we first discussed this, I had a feeling this was going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” council member Isaac Davila said.
“We have more important things to spend money on. That’s a wish list. If we had a lot of extra money then maybe. But we don’t. I’m against it.”
Mayor Bill Benton said nice towns have a lot of things like sidewalks and trees.
“I think we are out of touch with our constituents, especially the poorer ones,” Davila responded.
Benton reminded him that the city is simply getting estimates for the landscape and irrigation.
Council member Jacob Balderas said he would like to get more estimates because the prices are higher than he expected.
Public Services Director Rigo Calzoncin said he will put together a bid package and bring this back to council when the bidding process is completed.
The trees would be planted in the following phases:
Bryan Road from FM 2218 to Spacek Road— 125 trees;
Spacek Road from Bryan Road to Reading Road— 70 trees; and
Town Center Boulevard from FM 2218 to Radio Lane— 85 trees.
The next council meeting will be July 7 at City Hall, located at 2110 Fourth St.
Citizens will not be allowed to attend council meetings, but can still ask questions via letters, telephone or email.
Email comments to email@example.com.
Meetings can be watched live on the city’s YouTube Channel “RosenbergTXGov,” on the city’s website at www.rosenbergtx.gov/tv, and on Comcast Channel 16 for residents within the city limits.