Downtown Charlottetown resident Roger Ross is calling on the municipality do more to help out residents whose properties sustained tree damage from post-tropical storm Dorian.
Ross, 60, said he has been doing his best to help out neighbours, especially seniors, to cut down broken limbs and branches and move them to the curb where they can be picked up by Island Waste Management Corp. (IWMC).
“I try to help out as many senior citizens as I can,’’ Ross says. “I think the city should be obligated to come in and take these things down for senior citizens. They don’t ask for much.’’
Ross said many of the trees that have come down or are in danger of coming down in his ward (Ward 4) are large and dangerous to handle, much less cut up and move to the curb.
He said one 95-year-old resident called him recently for help.
“She doesn’t have the right kind of resources (to do anything), and I understand that. The (storm) came up and split this big, massive, tree in two. In my opinion, these things should be taken care of for senior citizens no matter what in the city.’’
Ross reached out to his city councillor, Mitchell Tweel, for help.
“We, as a city, need to go the extra mile. I think you treat each (property) on a case-by-case basis. This is not about an abuse of power. This is about a caring community working together.’’
-Coun. Mitchell Tweel
Tweel said while the city makes a point not to do work on private property, these are “extenuating circumstances’’.
“We believe the City of Charlottetown should take a lead role in helping our residents, particularly our senior citizens, with assisting them with removing fallen trees,’’ Tweel said. “Our seniors do not have the resources. They don’t have the wherewithal, and I don’t believe it’s enough to say because a fallen tree is on (private) property there is nothing we can do about it.’’
Coun. Mike Duffy, chairman of the public works committee, sympathizes with residents but said not going on to private property is a firm policy.
Duffy noted Charlottetown covers 44 square kilometres, and the city can’t say yes to one property owner only to say no to another.
“The policy is we can’t go on to private property,’’ Duffy said. “I don’t think insurance or workers’ compensation would allow us to have our workers wandering all over people’s property. The only time we can go onto private property is when we do the damage . . . and we enter the property to repair or remediate the damage we’ve done.’’
Tweel reiterates the fact these are extenuating circumstances, even going so far as to suggest the city partner with the militia.
“We, as a city, need to go the extra mile. I think you treat each (property) on a case-by-case basis. This is not about an abuse of power,’’ Tweel said in reference to the city’s policy, “this is about a caring community working together.’’