Section 2.16. CONTROL OF DUTCH ELM DISEASE.
(1) Duties of Village Manager. The Village Manager of the Village of River Hills is hereby invested with the power and authority to carry out the terms and provisions of this Ordinance in such manner as in his discretion he believes to be most appropriate and equitable, including the power to retain additional Village employees if that is found to be necessary, the power to delegate to the Village Forester the carrying out of the terms and provisions of this Ordinance and the further power to determine whether any or all work to be done hereunder shall be performed by Village personnel or independent contractors; the exercise of these powers to be subject to review at all times by the Village Board.
(2) Inspection and Reports. The Village Manager is to cause periodic inspections and reports to be made of all elm trees on public and private property within the Village for the purpose of discerning wherever possible the existence of any other infected, diseased or dead elm trees or elm wood. The Village Forester and/or any other Village employee designated by the Village Manager shall have the authority to enter upon private property at reasonable times for the purpose of carrying out any of the provisions of this Ordinance.
(3) Removal of Diseased, Weak, or Dead Elm Trees or Elm Wood. The Village Manager, with the aid and assistance of the Village Forester, shall direct, supervise and control the removal of weak, diseased, or dead elm trees and/or dead elm wood found within the Village by removal, burning, or by any other means which he determines to be necessary to prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch Elm Disease or the insect pests or vectors known to carry such disease fungus.
(4) Removal of Diseased, Weak, or Dead Elm Wood on Private Property. Whenever the Village Manager shall determine with reasonable certainty that diseased, weak, infected, or dead elm wood exists upon private premises, he is hereby authorized to serve or cause to be served personally or by certified mail upon the owner of such property, a written notice of the existence of such nuisance and of the action necessary to be taken to abate such nuisance. Such notice shall describe the nuisance and recommend procedures for its abatement and shall further state that unless the owner shall abate the nuisance in the manner specified in the notice within ten (10) days after service of such notice, the Village Manager shall proceed to abate the nuisance and cause the full cost thereof to be assessed against the property in accordance with the procedures provided in this Ordinance. The Village Manager may extend the time allowed the property owner for abatement work, but not to exceed an additional ten (10) day period.
(5) Cost of Tree Care; Special Assessments.
[a] The Village’s full costs of abating such nuisance shall be charged to the property on which such nuisance, tree or wood is located as follows:
(1) The Village Manager shall keep a strict account of the cost of such work and the amount chargeable to each parcel and shall report such work, charges, descriptions of the lands to which charged and the names and addresses of the owners to the Village Clerk as the work is completed.
(2) The Village Clerk shall thereupon mail notice of the amount of such costs to each owner of property charged at his last known address, stating that unless paid within thirty (3) days of the date of notice, such charges shall bear interest at the rate of six (6%) percent per annum form the due date and shall be entered on the tax roll as a delinquent tax against the property and all proceedings for delinquency in relation to the collection and return of real estate taxes shall apply.
(6) Cutting, Trimming, Pruning or Transport of Oak Trees Prohibited From April 1st to October 1st. No person shall, without a written permit from the Village as specified in subsection (7) below, do or cause to be done by others any of the following acts:
(a) Cut, trim, or prune oak trees between April 1st and October 1st of each year without first obtaining a written permit from the Village;
(b) Transport any wood or bark known to be infected with oak wilt fungus through the Village from April 1st to October 1st of any year.
(7) Oak Tree Permit.
(a) The Village Manager or his/her designee is authorized to issue permits for cutting, pruning, and trimming of living oaks and transport of oak with infected wood or bark, between the period April 1st to October 1st, subject to the provisions of the following (b) – (e).
(b) The Village Manager or his/her designee may require that the permit application shall be signed by an arborist, landscape architect or horticulturist stating that the oak tree(s) proposed to be cut, trimmed or pruned are not infected with oak wilt fungus or in the proximity of any oak trees which are infected with oak wilt fungus which would promote the spread of the disease and that removal of infected oak will be done in a manner that will not promote the spread of the disease in the Village.
(c) Permits for cutting, trimming, pruning or transport of oaks and oak wood shall not be issued except in exigent circumstances.
(d) The person doing the cutting, pruning, trimming, or transporting shall have a copy of the permit in his/her possession at all times while doing the activity.
(e) The permit shall expire within 20 days of issuance.
(8) Penalty. Any person found guilty of a violation of any of the provisions of subsections (6) or (7) of this ordinance shall be subject to the penalty provisions of Section 2.15 of this Chapter. (Ord. #487, 8/18/04)