SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The City of Savannah is seeking $37,000 from a contractor for damaging a city-owned Live Oak tree that stood 47 feet-tall and was over 100 years old.
According to the city, a construction crew employed by Dustcom Limited, Inc. was tying in a water line for a new restaurant on Oglethorpe Avenue. The company allegedly dug a hole in the median without notifying city government, violating the project's right-of-way permit.
According to the release from the city, the hole was too close to the tree and excavation severely damaged the tree's root system.
The City of Savannah issued a stop-work order and requested a private arborist to examine the tree. The private arborist and city arborists all concluded that the tree was not savable and should be removed for public safety.
The City of Savannah sent a Notice of Violation to Dustcom on Thursday, Aug. 3.
In accordance with the Savannah Landscape and Tree Protection Ordinance, Savannah is seeking collection of its losses, as described below:
- Fine for violation of the terms of conditional right-of-way permit – $500.00
- Cost for arboricultural consultant—$1,700
- Cost to remove tree – $6,800
- Appraised value of 42” Live Oak tree –$27,671.78
- Cost to replace tree with 3” caliper Live Oak –$500.00
The damaged tree is scheduled for removal in the next 7-10 days.