Urbana 2019 storm damage trees

An employee of Fisher-based Rice Tree Service removes a tree from the backyard of a home on McHenry Street in Urbana following a storm early Sunday morning, May 26, 2019.

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URBANA — After a tornado hit southwest Urbana in May, the city said it would need $22,000 to replace the 64 city-owned trees that were destroyed.

A $14,250 grant from the Morton Arboretum near Chicago will help Urbana do that.

“It’s fantastic news,” city Administrator Carol Mitten said.

The city council will vote Monday on approving the grant, which is funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

“Our arborist Kevin Sanderson did a fantastic job on the application,” Mitten said. “We got almost the maximum amount we could’ve,” which was $15,000.

In October, Urbana reached out to the community for donations to replace the trees destroyed by the F-1 tornado.

Mitten said she anticipates the city will get more funding to replace trees. The city estimated it costs $360 to replace each tree — $110 for the tree and $250 for the labor to plant it.

In addition to the tornado, the city has been working for more than a decade to remove trees killed by the emerald ash borer.

That’s been completed, Mitten said, but it now has 289 stumps to replace. The grant will help reduce its three-year backlog on planting to 18 months, she said.