WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. – One homeowner in the tiny community of Washington Park, Illinois, is left with a big problem after a huge city-owned tree fell on his home. More than two months after it fell, the tree is still there.
Washington Park officials are trying to figure out what to do. They say one problem muddying the waters is the homeowner is in federal prison.
The You Paid For It team recently went to the scene and ran into Darald Woods, a man who says he was staying in the home at the time.
“It’s been a month and a half, and something should have been done about this,” said Woods.
When asked what the city had done about this, Woods answered, “They haven’t done anything. To my knowledge, they’ve done nothing. It’s a city tree, and it’s their responsibility.”
Elliott Davis went to talk to Washington Park Mayor Leonard Moore, who says he’s worried about the situation and can’t just leave things like this for much longer.
“It seems like we are going to have to take some action again,” said Moore. “We don’t want to just leave it on the house.”
Moore says it would cost around $2,000 to remove the tree, but he says the city doesn’t have a choice.
“We don’t want to leave it lingering and somebody that shouldn’t even be on the property just decides to go by there,” said Moore. “God forbid something happen, now we got a bigger problem.”
Who owns this house? Elliott talked to the Code Enforcement Officer Anthony Johnson about the homeowner.
“Our understanding is the young gentlemen that owns the house is in federal prison right now,” said Johnson. “So we have no contact with him at all.”
Would crews need the owner’s permission to take the tree off?
“Technically by law, we need a written consent from him that’s saying we can finish taking the tree out of the house,” said Johnson. “We are not liable for if the tree is taken and rolled another way.”
Officials said they’ weren’t going to the federal prison to try to talk to the owner. They didn’t say exactly when they’d remove the tree, but right now, it’s still on the house.
Washington Park officials promise to remove the tree, but they’re not saying when that might happen.