As a result, the board discussed any options that may be available to avoid the fires or replace the landscaping this year.
“I can tell you from experience that there is no such thing as fire-retardant mulch,” said Stormwater Coordinator Deb Ashack. “All hardwood ... is flammable.”
She added that when the fires occurred they should be examined.
Julius said many of the fires caused are because of people throwing cigarette butts out their windows and the likelihood of fires increase in the dry, summer months.
“We have discussed in the past whether or not to go to a gravel,” he said.
But Julius said if the landscapers swapped out the mulch, it would be much more expensive and questioned the aesthetic of a change to a gravel or rock.
“The price of product would almost be double,” he said.
He added that because the gravel also weighs about 10 times as much as the mulch, the labor cost to transport and spread the product would be higher.
“It’s a dilemma in our industry,” Julius said referring to mulch fires. “We are looking all the time at new products.”
The board of public works also approved the demolition of a home in the 700 block of Higgins Drive.
Planning and Zoning Coordinator Linda Mills said when the property was examined there was only about 20 percent of the roof remaining intact. Planning and Zoning Director Shane Corbin added that there was a person living in the property while part of the roof was missing, but she is no longer in the home.
“It’s a dangerous structure,” he said. “We’re at a point where we just need to get the house down for public safety reasons.”
Corbin was asked whether or not proper notification was given to the former resident about the potential demolition of the property.