By Rick Silva
PARADISE — The town of Paradise announced the activation of its Paradise Tree Removal program Monday.
The program follows the completion of the state’s tree removal program and deals with private property owners’ ability to remove dead trees from their property.
The program is voluntary and is funded by the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program through the Federal Emergency Mangement Agency and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and will be managed by the Town Recovery and Economic Development Department.
Any dead tree that remains on private property may be eligible for this program.
Town manager Kevin Phillips said on Thursday that the program has about $10 million connected to the program to help private property owners pay for the removal of dead trees on their property and will fund about 75% of the cost of that removal.
Phillips says they do not know how many trees in town there that are dead on private property, but the goal is to get as many of those trees down.
He also says that town staff is continuing to search for alternative funding and the hope is to reduce the cost to the private landowner down to “basically no cost.”
However, the town website also says that if there is going to be a cost associated with the tree removal for the homeowner it will be known prior to enrollment for the removal.
The town says that at this time, property owners may enroll in Phase 1 of the program which is limited to the assessment and marking of eligible trees by the Town’s arborist. After eligible trees are identified and approved, Phase 2 of the program will remove the trees through a separate process. Tree removal is expected to take place in spring 2023.
The town also says that there will be no trees removed during phase one or as a result of applying for phase one. Town staff also notes that property owners who enrolled in phase one will have an option to remove the identified and approved trees in phase two through a separate process.
Applications for Phase 1 of the Tree Removal Program will be accepted through September 30, 2022, there is no cost to the property owner for the assessment.
The town website also points out that trees that have fallen on their property are eligible for removal via the program. The town also said that trees that are assessed during phase one and declared eligible for removal but are removed by the homeowner prior to the phase two removal are not eligible for reimbursement to the homeowner.
Source: Paradise Post