Trees May Prevent Removal of Auctioned S. Fargo Homes - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Trees May Prevent Removal of Auctioned S. Fargo Homes

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A dream home for a great price... but it might come in more than one piece.


Seven homes in south Fargo -- bought-out by the city for flood protection -- are going up for auction on Monday. Most are going cheap, but there's a catch: you may not be able to get the whole house.

The Fargo Forestry Department removes close to 1,000 diseased and dying trees every year, but none of the trees in south Fargo are to be touched for home removals, even if that removal could help a $200,000 house become someone's new home in a new neighborhood.

"From a tree stand point there is no trimming, there is no removal [of trees]...," explains Scott Liudahl of the Fargo Forestry Department. "I totally understand. They are attractive, beautiful homes, high-valued houses. [...] That I totally see. On the other side, I see what's gonna be left when these houses are gone and the impacts it's gonna have on the neighborhood as they try to leave the area."

The city of Fargo purchased seven flood buy-out homes which will be auctioned off Monday, but because of the trees many of them won't be leaving in one piece, if at all.

Rick Rossou of the Minnesota Home Movers Association says it's a shame: "There's plenty of people out there that would like to buy these homes if they could be taken out a bit bigger, but if you have to cut them down in 27-foot pieces, you're gonna destroy the homes."

On Oak Creek Drive South, where five of the soon-to-be auctioned homes are found, the avenue is littered with trees. The road is about 36 feet wide from mailbox to mailbox, enough to get a house out in pieces but not as a whole; several trees would have to be trimmed or removed.

Rossou says he thinks the value of these homes trump the few trees that would need to be sacrificed: "I guess I couldn't handle it in clear conscience: knowing that beautiful houses are going to be demo-ed because I wouldn't allow a tree to be trimmed."

Liudahl, on the other hand, suggests that current homeowners in the neighborhood have the right to keep the look the same as it has been in years past: "If they can't move it out in sections and it doesn't meet the terms and conditions, then it will be for salvage."

Things like the kitchen, bathroom, and doors are some of the salvageable items to go first, but the rest of the home has to go somewhere. Rossou says that "somewhere" is a landfill that's about to become much fuller: "You're gonna take out one to two tons of windows, a few doors, and some molding. So, 118 tons go to the dump. It just fills up."

The city is just in the beginning stages of their attempt to sell off flood bought-out homes, and there will likely be many more for sale -- or for the dump -- in the future.




The south Fargo homes will be auctioned off next Monday at the city of Fargo commission room. If you want to check out the interior of the homes before then, there will be an open house on Saturday and Sunday (Mar. 16 - 17) between 1 and 4 p.m.


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