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      Committee formed to make Ottumwa greener

      It was developed in response to street and sewer projects in the city of Ottumwa; it??s the Tree Reforestation Committee.

      It was started just over a month ago and is made up of six members from the community all with one goal in mind, to make Ottumwa greener.

      The committee met Wednesday evening and members said the main issue that hasn??t been resolved yet is updating the City Tree Ordinance and what to do about planting trees in the right away.

      ??We've talked about possibly discouraging the planting in the city or between the sidewalk and the curb. That's probably what??s going to end up happening. Some of the people that lost trees that was part of the trees and sewer project; we talked about giving those people gift certificates to replant to replace those trees they lost. That??s another option. Some kind of a hybrid plan that's going to work for everyone is what I think is going to end up happening,?? said Gene Rathje, Tree Reforestation Committee Member.

      Rathje added that the committee is currently working on a project called Operation Relief which will happen around Earth Day. It will be a chance for residents to buy and plant trees on private property. There will be 200 trees for sale and the specie of tree has already been chosen.