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Dead tree concerns Arlington residents

5:54 PM, Nov 21, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The City of Jacksonville is on a mission to remove or trim a number of marked trees in a timely manner, the big challenge is the funding to get it all done in a budget year.

Residents in the Fairways Forest subdivision understand but that does not change their fears and concerns about a dead tree in their neighborhood.

"Part of it is going to fall into the street," said Jerry Deters.

Deters lives next door to a large oak tree, it bears a red x for removal, but it is still standing.

"I am concerned that children who walk by to catch the bus or adults who walk around the subdivision all the time may be in danger," he said.

Deters has called the city; in October municipal code enforcement respond.

The tree, while facing the street, is on a foreclosed property. Code enforcement issued two citations, one for an exposed swimming pool, the other for the dead tree.

"The city said it would issue an emergency contract and take down the tree," said Deters. "That was last Friday, nothing has happened."

The pool problem was corrected by a contractor from the mortgage company, the question is who is going to remove the dead tree?

"It seems like it is taking too long," said Deters.

He said it reminds him of another case that ended up costing taxpayers millions and left a teenager paralyzed.

A tree that was marked for trimming went without notice for a period of time and then one day one of the heavy branches fell on the teen.

he was hospitalized, his family sued the city and the case was settled.

Deters said he does not want to see it happen to anyone again, that's why he's raising attention to the dead tree in his neighborhood.

"It could fall and kill a child or an adult," Deters said. "Someone walking through the subdivision.

First Coast News checked with the city to see the timeline and here it is:

  • November 14, an officer assessed the tree and contacted a contractor for the bank.
  • November 18, no word from the bank the city solicited bids from several contractors.
  • November 22, bid results will be accepted; tree will be removed Thanksgiving week.

To file a complaint about code enforcement contact the city at 904-630-2489 or go to www.coj.net.

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