Paddock Lake likely to extend time to pay for ash tree removal

By Michael hunter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ash tree /Photo by Michael hunter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Paddock Lake officials discussed Tuesday allowing property owners whose dead ash trees are taken down by the village to have a little longer to pay the bill.

President Terry Burns presented the idea of allowing those whose diseased trees are taken down by the village to have until January 2018 to reimburse the village’s cost.

“We understand that it’s a bigger expense,” said Burns. “It just wouldn’t be right to not give residents enough time to pay it back.”

The village has mailed out notices to 178 property owners of 445 total ash trees that are dead or dying from emerald ash borer and are close to village streets. The property owners were given until Dec. 31 to have the trees removed. Those property owners can apply to have the trees removed as part of a village program in which the village pays part of the cost.

Trees not removed by the end of the year will be removed by the village. How aggressive the village should be in recovering its cost for doing that was the subject of Tuesday’s discussion at the committee of the whole meeting.

Burns said that there was some discussion earlier that the cost would be recovered by a special assessment placed on the subject property’s tax bill. But he was now proposing delaying that step.

“In my opinion we’re not giving the residents enough time to address this additional expense,” Burns said.

Burns proposed having the village front the money for up to another tax year to allow residents time to pay for the tree removal. If the obligation is still not paid, it would then be put on the tax bill.

Village administrator Tim Popanda said most residents he has talked to who have received the notification are understanding of the need to get the diseased trees down. Trees near roads are being targeted by this effort because of the danger they could fall into roadways.

“These trees are in that stage where they could topple,” Popanda said. “These trees are extremely brittle … we have to be forceful … they won’t survive until this time next year.”

The village would like to do the anticipated mass cutting of trees over the winter months, when logging company equipment may do less damage to grassy areas.

The targeted ash trees are victims of emerald ash borer infestation. This not native insect pest damages the interior of ash trees, evetually killing them. There is no effective and cost efficient treatment to save ash trees once they are infested and the most common way of stopping the spread is to cut down infected trees.

Most of the ash trees in the village are located on the village’s west side.

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5 Comments

  1. Jeanette Hansen says:

    I know the trees must come down but. Even with the village paying half I can not come up with my share on only a s.s. check by the end of the year. Why doesn’t the village schedule all removals themselves, take the trees down, pay the invoice,then invoice the resident for their hAlf to be paid by the end of 2018? Payments cold be made monthly to the village. That would be easier on the home owners over 65 that do not have 5,000 in a lump sum. This is just 1 estimate I have so far and they have so much on their schedule they cannot get to us until late Februaty.

    So what do I do now?

  2. PR says:

    Technically if tree is within easement of the street it is owned by town not homeowner. If I remember correctly there is a 30 foot easement from street that is county/town owned property. They should pick up the bill, not homeowner. And if you have tree in your yard away from easement; and its dead that should be on you to take down and not be forced to take it down or be charged to have them remove it. Lets say the tree falls across street, the town comes and takes care of cleaning it up and removing it without cost to homeowner. That should be the case with these that are near road and are dead or dying.

  3. @PR — To clarify just one point, the village says only trees deemed a danger to public safety, say by falling in the street, have been targeted for immediate removal.

  4. Middle of the Road says:

    Easements are typically measured from the center line of the road. Occasionally when roads are rebuilt with new ditches and gutters you will see a road get straightened moving a little to one side or the other as they corrected the alignment. So finding the correct centerline of road isn’t as easy as just walking out to it.

    So that being said you don’t get the full 30 feet into your property but probably only 10 or 15 feet from the edge of the road.

    A different question I have is while tree trimmers are experiencing booming business now with all the trees that have to come down you would hope that the village would put out to bid the many many trees overall that need to come down and try to get a volume pricing discount that they can then use to pass on to the homeowners.
    Meaning whatever company successfully bids for the village work they could offer homeowners the same per tree pricing as they travel the village down each raod. By doing the private work at the same time each homeowner would get the benefit of volume pricing. Sure that would take some paperwork to track which trees are village trees and which trees are homeowner trees but tape and paint go along way to marking the correct owners. And I’m sure with things waiting until colder weather there’s plenty of time for each homeowner to document what they owe and what they don’t owe.

    Though on the other hand our country was founded upon free commerce and it is ultimately up to each homeowner to seek out bids individually.

  5. robert walski says:

    the tree is not the problem so get to the source

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