New regulations by the Corps of Engineers are being called ridiculous, by some northern valley residents.
Some folks in Crookston are up in arms over the Corps' plan to take down trees in their backyards. Many of those trees were originally planted by the Corps.
The dike system behind their homes was completed ten years ago. But now, the Corps plans to cut down trees along that levee.
Loren Johnson, Crookston: "It's a little ridiculous. It's after the fact. This dike was certified a couple of years ago. Everything was O.K..
Bill Thorp, Crookston: "They're going to remove some on the backside, the riverside , plus this side. It doesn't make any sense."
Now… I wasn't able to connect with Corps of Engineer officials over this long, holiday weekend. However, City officials say they were told the Corps has changed its rules about how close tree can be to the bottom of the dike. So now, trees within 15-feet of it will have to be removed.
Pat Kelly, Crookston Public Works: "We still have to comply with the current code of rules. So, in order to maintain our certification for our levees, these trees will have to be removed or relocated."
Thorp and Johnson say they complained about the project at a public hearing on the issue. But so far, they've heard nothing back from the Corps.
Bill Thorp: "The Corps has agreed that trees are like rebar in concrete, as far as soil. So, why are they taking it out?"
Meanwhile, it appears the Corp is moving ahead with a project that will remove a lot of shade from homes in this neighborhood. Crookston Public Works Director, Pat Kelly says the Corps is now accepting bids from contractors to remove the trees. So, it appears the project is a done deal.
The Corps of Engineers has now contacted Valley News Live by email and says they'll talk about the Crookston situation on Monday. We'll keep you updated.