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Vail looking for dead trees

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAI, Colorado “T he town of Vail will inspect trees in its efforts to have dead trees removed from private property.

Inspections start Sept. 2, when members of the Vail Fire Department wildfire crew will begin canvassing neighborhoods that are most at risk for wildfire.

Property owners who are found to have dead or diseased trees on their land will be notified of a town regulation that requires removal of the hazardous trees within 30 days. If the trees cannot be removed within 30 days, a town-approved plan and schedule is required of the property owner.

The first round of inspections will take place at about 620 properties in neighborhoods east of the East Vail interchange. Crews will then inspect approximately 150 properties in the Intermountain neighborhood on the south side of Interstate 70 west of the West Vail roundabout.

The inspections will continue to Nov. 1 and will resume in other neighborhoods next spring. The goal is to canvass the entire community by fall of next year, said Tom Talbot, Vail’s wildland coordinator.

He says the ultimate goal is to get homeowners to cut down trees voluntarily.

Violators could receive a summons to municipal court.

Several incentives are being offered by the town to encourage people to remove trees. Homeowners can have their property inspected and get a permit to cut down dead trees on the same day. The first step is to contact the Fire Department’s wildland fire unit at 477-3509 to schedule an inspection.

For additional convenience, the town will provide free curbside chipping for trunks, limbs and slash up to 24 inches in diameter for trees removed by Oct. 17. To schedule, call 477-3509.

Free tree removal permits are available from the Community Development Department or the town’s Web site at http://www.vailgov.com/foresthealth.

Property owners may also benefit from a program administered by the state of Colorado which allows 50 percent of a landowner’s costs incurred in performing “wildfire mitigation” measures on their property to be taken as an income tax deduction within that tax year. More information can be found at http://www.revenue.state.co.us.

If a homeowner fails to comply with the ordinance, the town has authority to remove the dead trees and the owner will be billed.


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