Robbinsdale to Help Residents with Large Tree Damage Costs
The city of Robbinsdale will offer financial assistance to help residents with large tree cleanup costs from last Friday’s storm. The city has a loan program for diseased trees. This would help pay for storm-damaged trees as well.
“When there’s storm damage, some people end up with these very large bills all of a sudden, $8,000, $4,000 related to a large tree that isn’t connected with what their property insurance covers,” said Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick. “It provides them an opportunity to request city financing assistance.”
Glick says the assistance is similar to what the city does to help residents when a water or sanitary sewer line fails on a homeowner’s property and there’s a significant cost.
A Lot of Damage Along County Road 9
While the damage wasn’t widespread across the city, Glick says there were areas hit hard by the storm on the night of Aug. 14. She says there was a lot of damage along County Road 9 and the city lost a lot of trees on the north end of Crystal Lake. Glick says the damage wasn’t enough to qualify for an emergency declaration.
Robbinsdale City Council member George Selman says approving the financing option for homeowners could help about 2 percent of residents in the city.
“I think this is a great idea,” said Selman. “For the 2 percent, or whatever that percentage is, it’s a really big deal. Who knows when that really big deal is going to happen to any of us in town, and the city’s got a great system of helping folks through those tough times.”
Glick says the cost can be assessed over a number of years.
“We’re not a lending institution so our rates are not as ideal as if you can get an equity line of credit or another option,” said Glick. “It just provides some breathing space when you’re dealing with all of this.”
Interest is normally about 8% and probably wouldn’t be lower than 6%, said Glick, but added it may be a better option than putting it on a credit card.
Glick says the city can assist to get a contractor in to deal with the problem and then homeowners get a window of time to decide what to do.
“If you don’t find out another way to pay for it, we’re going to put it on taxes over a period of time,” she said.