Quick News

Ash Trees in Ithaca

posted Sep 20, 2018, 7:06 AM by Lisa Carrier-Titti   [ updated Sep 20, 2018, 7:11 AM ]

Ash trees grow fast and well in Ithaca. But they can die quickly, too, especially now that the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle is here.  EAB has killed millions of trees in North America since its invasion began in the late 1990s. If you have ash trees on your property, it's time now to plan a defense against this lethal pest.

Ash can grow to a large tall oval shape in an open field, with buds, leaves and branches opposite from each other; their bark ridges show diamond shapes once they're old enough, their fat brown buds sprout compound leaves, with 5-11 leaflets arranged in a line, one leaflet at the end. Their seeds grow in clusters of single thin paddle-shaped wings.

When EAB attack ash, their small (3/4-inch) metallic green adults lay eggs that grow into bark-burrowing larvae that chew S-shaped tunnels under the bark. The bark splits and can be peeled off to reveal these sideways-wandering tunnels as the tree dies. When the larvae mature they chew out of the bark leaving 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes in a dying tree that will have plenty of thin, dead, leafless branches on it. One of the best ways to identify EAB-infested trees is in the winter to look for the light patches on the trunk that have been pecked away by woodpeckers.

Once a tree is severely infested, it will sprout leaves directly from its trunk, and become a dangerous source of falling limbs.  Such dead or nearly dead ash trees are hard to cut down, as the wood becomes brittle and apt to fall in winds or when arborists attempt to remove it. Proactive treatment with a pesticide is cheaper than tree removal, but the treatment needs to be reapplied every two-three years. Many homeowners opt to have their trees cut down by certified arborists, which presents a permanent option for addressing the inevitable hazard.

Please make sure you plan ahead, before your ashes become hazardous!  Applying an insecticide can keep EAB out of your tree. If they've just started to attack, it may not be too late. Please, don't travel anywhere with ash firewood, as the grubs travel much faster that way than the adult EABs can fly.

To learn more about identifying EAB, see this MSU EAB fact sheet at http://www.emeraldashborer.info/documents/E-2938.pdf 

A bulletin on EAB pesticide options may help you keep an ash you love, check: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/multistate_EAB_Insecticide_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Virginia Tech has a good EAB iBook, and an online course you can take that was funded by the USDA Forest Service; go to www.hort.vt.edu/eab 

From the Town of Ithaca Conservation Board, September 2018

Town-Wide Sanitary Sewer System Evaluation to Start in September

posted Aug 30, 2018, 9:07 AM by Lisa Carrier-Titti



The Town of Ithaca Public Works Department will be conducting a town-wide sanitary sewer system evaluation beginning in September and expected to go through November.  An Evaluation Team will be conducting onsite assessments of each manhole within the sewer system.  This team may consist of several members at any given time and all will be wearing high-visibility vests and identification. 

 There will be no disruption to sewer service during this time.

 Manholes are located within roadways, side and rear yards of residences, and in open fields or wooded areas throughout the town. 

 In some cases, access to and from portions of the sanitary sewer system will be done via existing easements granted to the Town.  (Please refer to attached Easement Policy). 

 Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Daniel Thaete-Town Engineer, 607-273-1656.


Easement Policy


Water and sewer easements are utilized in a number of ways for maintenance purposes, including the following reasons:

·         For access of equipment (excavators, loaders, backhoes, trucks and trailers), materials (pipe, gravels, valves), and manpower to repair, replace and maintain infrastructure, etc.

·         For cleaning of sanitary sewer mains and manholes

·         For flushing of water mains and operations of valves

·         For inspections of infrastructure (manholes, PRV pits, control buildings, pump stations) which may require the cutting or removal of tall grass, brush, and trees


Maintenance of these easements is the key to preventing crisis situations when problems arise with the utility. In maintaining these utilities, providers could avoid bigger problems of accessibility during the night, environmental impacts, and mass outages of vital utilities.

Items or conditions not allowed within easements:

·         Permanent structures or improvements, including foundations retaining walls, fences, garages, sheds, play equipment/structures, decks, trees or large shrubs, or other features that impede  vehicle access along easement

·         Private electrical services, buried irrigation systems

·         Placement of fill or regrading of property that increases/decreases the cover over the pipes or buries/exposes manholes, valves or cleanouts

Items or conditions allowed within an easement;

·         Semi-permanent improvements, including landscaping/gardens, decorative walls, walkways. These items should be easily and quickly removable; however they may be damaged during access for maintenance, inspection or repairs.




posted Aug 20, 2018, 10:58 AM by Lisa Carrier-Titti   [ updated Oct 19, 2018, 4:37 AM ]

The 2018 Town of Ithaca FALL BRUSH PICK-UP is complete.

Please remember that you may drop your own yard waste off at the Public Works Facility at 106 Seven Mile Drive, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. year round.  Please sign in at the office.

For questions, please call 273-1656 between 6:30 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday or e-mail us at publicworks@town.ithaca.ny.us.


Leaf collection will start at 7:00AM on Monday, November 5, 2018 and will continue throughout the week until finished. Leaves should be at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the first day of collection.  Leaves may be raked to the shoulder of the road or bagged in biodegradable paper leaf bags (30 gallon bags are available at many stores in the area).  Other debris such as pine needles, dead flowers, garden waste, grass clippings, etc., cannot be vacuumed and should be placed in bags.  Please fill bags and place on road shoulder, folding over openings of bags to close—do not staple or tape.  No plastic bags will be picked up. 

The Town’s crews will go around the entire Town once with the leaf vacuum.  For the rest of the month of November, the crews will begin picking up paper-bagged leaves each Monday, which could extend through early week to encompass the entire Town.

(Please note that we may send out leaf crews earlier than November 5th to test our equipment and to pick up paper bagged leaves before they get wet.)

For questions, please call 273-1656 between 6:30 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday or e-mail us at publicworks@town.ithaca.ny.us.

New Legislation

posted Jun 5, 2018, 6:36 AM by Lisa Carrier-Titti   [ updated Jun 5, 2018, 6:37 AM ]

The Town of Ithaca approved legislation that will affect owners of residential rental properties by expanding the town’s current operating permit program to include rented single family homes, accessory dwellings (apartments), and duplexes. READ MORE...

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