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Hundreds of trees planted along newly widened Samuel Boulevard are dying in the scorching summer heat as the city of Dallas debates who was supposed to water them.
Neighbor Carolyn Johnson went to Wednesday's Dallas City Council meeting to complain about the waste of taxpayer money paid to install the trees and the unsightly blemish on her neighborhood.
Around 600 crepe myrtle trees were planted for about $230,000 after a $17.7 million project to widen Samuel Boulevard to four lanes, according to Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Releford.
The state paid another $33,000 for the first two years of irrigation and maintenance for the trees and then Dallas was supposed to take over tree maintenance this spring Releford said.
The state managed the lengthy Samuel Boulevard construction project because 80 percent of the money came from the federal government.
Asked by the city council to explain, the Dallas Director of Public Works and Transportation Rick Galceran said the city hoped the neighborhoods would take over watering the median when TxDOT's responsibility ended in May.
"There was never an agreement that the homeowners association would take control of the median after two years," Johnson said.
TxDOT said the agreement with the city is clear.
The city took over maintenance June 11. Galceran said the streets department will now take over watering.
I'm sure if they created an "Adopt a tree" program, many citizens would come forward to take responsibility for at least one. Bring a bucket of water every day or 2 and it could make all the difference.
And BTW I don't understand that thing about the installed sprinklers - TXDOT, what is that?