BOLIVAR, Mo. -- A resident thinks the city should compensate him for the loss of a 20-year-old tree on his property.
Last February, Chris McKinney noticed city crews cutting down what he liked most about his backyard, including an old 45-foot elm tree. The crew was cleaning up the fence line but misjudged where McKinney's property stopped and the city's began.
The city apologized in a letter but, since then, McKinney says the city refuses to compensate him for what the tree is worth, at least $4,000. McKinney has grown so frustrated that he's suing the Bolivar city administrator and the city clerk in Small Claims Court.
“We want the city to pay for the replacement cost of the tree. They want to do everything except that. I think they think the replacement cost is cutting it down and hauling it off. We don't think that's reasonable,” said McKinney.
McKinney says appraisers said the damage to the tree has decreased his property value about 15 percent but it's not just about the money. It was the centerpiece of his backyard, provided shade and privacy, and reduced his cooling bills in the summer.A small claims hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, before Associate Circuit Judge Lisa Henderson.