RARITAN, NJ - The Raritan Borough Council has decided to hire a local company for tree maintenance work on Somerset Street.

The council addressed the need for a maintenance program to remove the stumps on Somerset Street and plant new trees in their place at the Aug. 12 council meeting.

Council president Don Tozzi said that Absolute Tree Service has estimated they could remove the six stumps currently on Somerset Street and plant new trees in their place for $5,400.

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But Tozzi said there is also a need for a consistent maintenance plan the council could implement in the future.

“We can use Absolute to call for all of our maintenance issues so we don’t have to worry about holding bidding wars for each issue that comes up,” he said.

As for paying for the service, Tozzi explained that Absolute Tree Service has no monthly or yearly fees, but that the service is paid for when needed.

The council agreed to use the proposed maintenance program from Absolute, which will cost $300 per hour, with time not to exceed two hours. That will mean the borough will be paying $6,000 total for grinding and removing the stumps on Somerset Street, planting new trees in their places and pruning some of the other trees that are obstructing building fronts.

This is all current work that needs to be done now.

Mayor Jo-Ann Liptak recommended the council talk with Absolute on what types of trees they think should be planted so they last long but still maintain a nice appearance through the years.

The council will discuss the maintenance plan at the Aug. 26 meeting, and ensure that there are no price changes being made with Absolute.