Using his tree-removal skills, Dohrwardt steps up
When Village of Fredonia officials recently determined that several trees need to be removed to make way for anticipated improvements on Park Street, Village President Don Dohrwardt saw an opportunity to take his community service to new heights.
Dohrwardt, who used to run a tree-removal service in the 1970s and ‘80s, volunteered to help the village take down the trees that are in the anticipated construction zone.
“I will volunteer my expertise … which should save the village quite a lot of money. This is something I did for a good part of my younger life,” the village president said.
In exchange for that expertise, Dohrwardt asked that he have first crack as the firewood harvested from the fallen trees.
The village typically makes the wood from harvested trees available to the public at no charge.
According to Public Works Director Roger Strohm, the culling project will involve two large ash trees, one maple and a couple crab apple trees.
Strohm said the sewer and water line work on Park Street is expected to start in May, meaning the trees will have to come down before that.
If a tree service was hired for the removal work, he said it would cost the village between $8,000 and $10,000.
The process will require careful planning, Dohrwardt said, because there are number overhead utility line running through near the trees.
Although the Village Board approved removing the trees, Trustee Lisa Dohrwardt was reluctant to have a role in sending her husband up in a bucket truck to tackle the task.
Late in 2015, the village president, who was 66 at the time, was injured when he toppled some 25 feet while cutting down an ash-borer infested tree on his Don’s Fredonia Greenhouse property on South Milwaukee Street.
Although he was knocked unconscious in the fall, Dohrwardt somehow managed to avoid breaking any bones.
His wife witnessed the fall.
After the board approved the project, Dohrwardt told his wife she didn’t have to watch him during the removal.