When a tree falls in Culver and no one wants to pay for it, who covers the cost? That’s a question that was raised at the recent town council meeting, and the answer may surprise you.
According to Town Council President Ginny Munroe, an ordinance is in place that puts the responsibility for the tree on the shoulders of the landowner, meaning that even though the tree is in the right-of-way, the property owner is still responsible for any fees that tree may bring such as costs for trimming and cutting. Trees that have been planted by the town and are in the right-of-way are also prohibited from being removed without a permit.
Anne Duff, a resident of Culver, recently requested reimbursement for the cost of removing the tree from her property, but that request was denied. The tree had been damaged in a storm and needed removed, which came at a price. Unfortunately, that price is the responsibility of the landowner, but there is a commission set to help people in these situations.
“That particular storm, when it occurred, some of the people who are dealing with trees contacted the Tree Commission, and they were able to help with some of their situations, and in some cases they’ll show up and do some of the labor themselves. So that’s where the line gets a little gray because we have this great commission that’s willing to help,” said Munroe.
Unfortunately, the commission is not heavily funded and can’t help everyone. Between ten and twelve trees have been removed this year, some because of rot and some because of other reasons, and the Street Department has also honored requests from citizens who did not wish for their recently uprooted tree to be replaced.
While he does understand the financial burden the situation places on homeowners, Councilman Ed Pinder reluctantly moved to deny the requests for reimbursement. The motion was approved.