ALEXANDRIA, La. - There's a big oak tree in a woman's front yard that's losing not only its leaves, but its branches. She thinks she knows why, and wants the parish to take care of it. News Channel 5's Kathleen Witte reports.
Nearly two years ago, Brenda Barlow came outside to find a contracted sewage worker digging up her yard.
"I wasn't even warned by the sewer department, the contractors had to tell me," Barlow says.
At the time, she was concerned about her sidewalk and grass, but both of those were fixed. Now, months later, Barlow is worried about the damage the sewage work caused the roots of the oak on her front lawn.
"My oak tree is dying. And it's been dropping huge branches all over my yard that I've been having to deal with for a few months now," Barlow says.
Barlow says she fears the dying tree could be a hazard to the community.
"Every time I pick up a branch and haul it away to be burned or taken care of, it makes me concerned," she said. "You know that it didn't fall on somebody."
She says she's been contacting the sewer district of Rapides Parish for a month now, asking the parish to remove the potentially dangerous tree. But, she says they have given a limited response.
"I've been put off, I've been ignored, I've been treated like a second-class citizen," Barlow says.
She even had a tree surgeon make an estimate, per the board's request. The surgeon agreed that the tree was a hazard and should be removed, but it would cost more than $1,700 to do so. And Barlow thinks the parish should pick up the bill.
"I feel like it's not that much to ask. It's a lot to me because it's a lot of money to just have a tree cut down. I feel like it's not too much to ask because I'm giving up my tree."
At a meeting Tuesday, the sewer board made the decision to pass the case onto the sewer district's insurance company. That means Barlow could see the tree removed without paying for it herself.
But for now, she'll be waiting on the results, watching the hazardous tree, and as usual, cleaning up her yard.
"But we just keep doing it without complaining, and I keep asking, and I'm about at the end of my rope."
The president of the sewer board declined to comment on the situation.