Longview City Council rejects grant to map trees:
The Longview City Council decided Thursday to reject a $10,000 state grant for mapping Longview's urban forest with satellite imagery, saying the city's grant matching funds would be better spent battling the aphid problem.
The council voted 5-2 against accepting the Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program's grant. Mayor Kurt Anagnostou and Councilwoman Mary Jane Melink were in the minority. Councilman Dennis Weber was absent.
'To me, this has nothing to do with the tree issue at all. It's a financial issue,' Councilman Chet Makinster argued before voting no. 'This city better be watching how we spend money because this is gonna be a tough year.'
Councilman Wallace agreed, saying, 'I just have a problem with mapping trees when ... I just question the priority and necessity of this expenditure right now.'