The letter sent with the condemnation notice is designed to explain the program for removal by answering several common questions. Each paragraph describes various aspects of the program as follows:
Paragraph 1: Sets forth the legal authority under which the MPRB operates in this respect.
Paragraph 2: Sets forth the time limit for action of 20 days.
Paragraph 3: Explains that the MPRB has already received bids from various contractors establishing prices for tree removal (these prices are based on dollars per inch of tree diameter. The price for their particular tree is entered on the form to give them a guideline as to what the costs will be. It also makes note of the fact that we do not include stump removal in our prices.
Paragraph 4: Makes the owner aware that certain minor turf damage is inevitable in removing a large tree but also notes that any more serious damage will be repaired.
Paragraph 5: Explains that to contract with the Board to remove their tree the stamped post card must be signed and returned to the Forestry Division within 5 days.
Paragraph 6: Informs the owner that the MPRB pays the contractor up front and then gives the owner a choice of either repaying the MPRB in one payment or of having the costs placed on an assessment.
Paragraph 7: Simply an explanation about the owner's option to hire a contractor.
Paragraph 8: Explains that the MPRB has the right to enter onto the property and remove the tree if the owner refuses to take any action.
Paragraph 9: Provides the owner with Forestry's phone number so they can receive answers to any specific questions.
Owner's Choice - Park Board Removal
This is by far the best option for most homeowner's who have large trees to contend with. They simply have to sign and return the postage paid post card to us, indicating they want us to handle the removal. From that point on, everything is taken care of by our office. We assign the tree to the lowest priced, available contractor at the time. We then send information to the homeowner letting them know who the contractor is and how to get in touch with them if they need to give them any special instructions. The contractor's job specifications require them to contact the owner at least 24 hours in advance to let them know when they will remove the tree. All contractors are fully insured and bonded.
Once the contractor removes the tree an invoice is submitted to our office. At this time one of our inspectors goes to the property and inspects to see that all requirements of the specifications have been met and that there has been no damage to the surrounding area. If damage has been done the contractor is required to make repairs to the satisfaction of the homeowner before we clear the job and make payment for it. Any delayed repairs such as broken sidewalks are handled with a certified check made out to the MPRB and their cement contractor to insure that the work will be performed.
Once everything has been inspected and approved, payment is made by the City Finance Office. Later, normally after all trees have been removed for the summer, the MPRB Finance Office will bill the homeowner for their portion of the costs. The homeowner has the option of paying the bill at that time or requesting that it be placed on the special assessment role for a payment schedule spread over a five year period. The assessment can be paid over the five years or paid off at any time during that period.