116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — As the city of Cedar Rapids continues to recover from the devastation of the 2020 derecho’s hurricane-force winds, the city will purchase a new stump grinder to aid in its efforts.
The City Council recently approved the purchase of a Vermeer SC852 stump grinder from the Tipton company for $93,370. This piece of equipment was budgeted for fiscal 2023 — the budget year that began July 1 and ends June 30, 2023 — for the Forestry Division of the Parks and Recreation Department.
“They’ve been hard to find just with all the shortages of equipment out there,” Finance Director Casey Drew said.
According to city documents, “due to the ongoing shortages and significant delays in appropriation of vehicles and equipment, multiple buyers are vying for the same piece of equipment.” City staff deemed it necessary to quickly provide a purchase order for the vendor and be “first in line” to secure the stump grinder.
This equipment purchase will help toward the city’s efforts to ramp up removal of stumps left behind after downed or damaged trees were removed following the derecho.
City officials announced in March that Cedar Rapids crews, in a partnership of the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments, would handle most of the stump-grinding effort. No private business was able to take on a project of the scale the city needed, though crews from Grass Lawn Service are taking on some of the work.
This effort began on the heels of the City Council’s adoption of the ReLeaf plan in February. The plan will guide the replanting of more than 40,000 trees along Cedar Rapids’ public streets and in city parks over the next 10 years.
ReLeaf, a partnership between the city and Marion-based nonprofit Trees Forever, is a model for urban reforestation that focuses on equity.
Since March 7, Drew said staff and contracted crews and contractors have removed about 7,300 stumps across the city. About 5,500 of those stump sites have been seeded and fully restored, he said.
Prior to the start of this city endeavor to accelerate stump grinding, crews had removed about 2,000 stumps since the unprecedented Aug. 10, 2020, storm, staff previously said.
Progress can be viewed at cedar-rapids.org/stump_info.php.
For more information on ReLeaf, visit CityofCR.com/ReLeaf.
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