Magnolias at old courthouse to be removed

Thu, 12/17/2009 - 4:29pm
By: Ben Nelms

Coweta County commissioners at the Dec. 15 meeting approved two change orders relating to the ongoing rehabilitation of the old courthouse, including one that would remove the remaining magnolia trees on the property.

Based on a recommendation from the Citizens Courthouse Advisory Committee, the board approved the removal of the three remaining magnolias at a cost of $651.13. The action was recommended on the basis of the health, age and life expectancy, historical relevance and inconsistent shape of the trees.

One of the trees was found by an arborist and landscape architect to have a split trunk and in need of removal. The trees also need significant pruning and shaping, the committee report said.

The committee on its recommendation, according to a Dec. 8 letter, addressed the history of the courthouse grounds, the space available and maintenance issues relating to the trees.

“Historically, the trees are not relevant. They were not original and do not appear in courthouse photos from the 1940s. From a maintenance perspective, the magnolias present an ongoing challenge. They hold moisture and they require regular maintenance for removal of seed pods and leaves,” the letter to commissioners said.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the trees be removed and not replaced. Commissioners agreed.

The second change order approved Dec. 15 involved rebuilding a wood-framed guardrail wall at the clock tower base of the window level at a price of $14,000.

The board rejected a $5,505 change order request relating to basement level storm drains, opting instead for an alternative approach to the issue.

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