Fortunately, because we have underground power lines, there was no power loss here in Rockwood even though the storm caused damage to many mature trees. For those who did have damage, the City has cleaned up most of the debris from their property, and, commencing mid-February, will be removing city trees and debris that have fallen onto properties. If the tree or debris is not a City tree, you will need to deal with it yourself by contacting a landscape service or a contractor to remove damaged trees or fallen branches from your property. Please note that depending on the damage, you may need City approval to remove a tree from your property if it is not completely felled as a result of the storm.
In order to assist residents with the removal of excess wood and brush debris, the Region of Peel has begun collecting small bundles of wood and brush from the curb since January 13th on regularly scheduled collection days.
• Bundles of wood and brush must not exceed 1.2 m (4ft.) and 76 cm (30 in.) in diameter and weigh no more than 20 kg (44 lbs.) to ensure collector safety;
• Individual branches and tree limbs must not exceed 1.2 m (4 ft.) in length and 7.5 cm (3 in.) in diameter and weigh no more than 20 kg (44 lbs.); and
• Leave small bundles of yardwaste at the curb as the Region of Peel anticipates yard waste collection may not coincide with residents regularly scheduled collection day.
In order to mitigate the cost of this most recent disaster, the City has joined forces with 19 Mayors and 3 Regional Chairs in the GTA. They are collectively requesting the Provincial and Federal governments to share an estimated consolidated cost to GTA municipalities and Hydro of $275 million. Similar individual requests for flood relief last summer were denied. Without Federal and Provincial assistance, the taxpayer will bear the brunt of the cost through increases to property taxes or special assessments.
Trees--the loss of, protection for, or damage to--will be a big part of our future tax bills. We are already looking at a hit of $58 million for the Emerald Ash Borer Blight, and now, post ice storm, the cost of cleaning up and replacement of City trees.
*Please note this article was originally published in the Spring 2014 edition of The Rockwood Times.