Saturday, November 27

County takes responsibility for fallen tree; pays for damages

Strong winds toppled part of a tree onto four cars parked below it on the evening of Thursday, October 21st.  The 86-foot tree was located on the northeast corner of the Old Courthouse Square.

“We are so grateful that no one was hurt in this incident,” says Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman. “The vehicles involved can be replaced or repaired. We’re just incredibly lucky this incident didn’t result in someone getting hurt.”

A certified arborist last conducted a tree hazard assessment on the fallen tree three years ago and deemed it to be healthy at the time. “We did not have evidence that the tree was diseased, dying or posing any threat,” Altman adds. “Even though there is a question if the County is responsible under common law for the damage caused by the fallen tree, we feel strongly that we should assume responsibility for the damage caused to the vehicles. We do not want to place additional burden on the those affected and want to get them back ‘on the road’ as quickly as possible.”  

Damages could total close to $100,000. Unfortunately, after further examining the damaged tree on Friday, an arborist determined it could not be saved and needed to be removed.  Fortunately, the County began cultivating saplings from the tree’s acorns several years ago and plans to plant them on the Courthouse Square to continue the tree’s linage and history.

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