A Bend Parkway tree has been getting statewide attention after the fate of the dying tree was discussed extensively on The Lars Larson Show. The talk show airs daily Monday through Friday on 1110 KBND from noon to 3 p.m. Its a regional show that is also broadcast throughout Oregon.
In July, a listener wrote in to Lars Larson to say that he heard about the plan to water the tree on Sunday mornings, which would require a small crew and over time pay. He felt it was a waste of taxpayer money.
Oregon Department of Transportation managers had scheduled for the tree to be watered on Sunday mornings to reduce the impact to drivers. Traffic would be affected by a water truck that would be brought in to water the thirsty tree.
ODOT spokesperson Peter Murphy says they have now decided to save the overtime pay and water during the workweek.
Murphy was a guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town, Tuesday morning, August 21st.
"YEAH IT WAS GOING TO BE OVERTIME FOR 2 PEOPLE TO GO OUT THERE AND DO THE JOB-BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT NOW- AND THE CONSEQUENCE TO ALL THIS IS THAT WE ARE GOING TO INCONVENIENCE MORE PEOPLE - AND THERE WON'T BE ANY OVERTIME - AND THOSE ARE THE TRADES."
Murphy would not say whether or not complaints connected with the attention the tree received on The Lars Larson Show was a deciding factor in the change. He did say he personally did not field any complaint calls about the overtime pay. The overtime cost for the watering was estimated at around 300-350 dollars.
To listen to the entire interview with Peter Murphy you can click on the Podcast icon on Your Town on this website. Murphy is a monthly guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town local talk show. Calls to the show are always welcome at: 388-1110.