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Downed tree removed from Town of Evans yard without owner's knowledge

Tree in Margaret Boardway's yard
Posted at 8:30 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 10:25:32-04

EVANS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Margaret Boardway emailed 7 Problem Solvers after she said the Town of Evans removed trees from her yard without her knowing. It sounds like a relief, but she said the bill was far from it.

Boardway lives permanently in Buffalo, but also has a property in the Town of Evans. She said when she went there on March 28 of last year, she saw that a large tree in her yard fell onto another tree.

Two days later Boardway said she received a violation letter from the Town of Evans. It said she had 30 days to remove the tree. That led her to hire a local tree company a couple days later.

What she didn't know is, within a week of receiving the violation letter, the Town of Evans removed both trees.

Boardway went to the home on April 10 when the tree company she hired was supposed to remove the trees, only to find out the trees were removed. She told 7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz, that there was a contact card for Town of Evans Code Enforcement left on her door.

"[Code enforcement] said that I'm responsible to pay this, because they already did the work," explained Boardway. "I told him I was not paying it."

The tree company Boardway originally hired charged her $706.88, but the Town of Evans charged $3,550.

"I was shocked. I was upset," said Boardway. "It makes me angry, and I stress about it, and I worry."

The violation letter said Boardway had 30 days to resolve the issue. Town of Evans officials said even though the letter said 30 days, they had to act quick as the trees became more of a liability.

"I wish they had contacted me before they even do any of this work, because I didn't know I had to contact them. It never said that in the letter," explained Boardway.

The Town of Evans told Schwartz that code enforcement made "several attempts" at her Town of Evans home to contact her. Town officials said they did their due diligence, and it's not their responsibility to track down property owners for violations, after notifying them at their address.

The uprooted tree has left a deep cutout in Boardway's yard, exposing muddy roots. Both stumps remain, but Boardway is hoping to have the town remove them. The Town of Evans said this case is closed.

Boardway now warns residents to make sure your town has every contact number of yours.

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