News

Avella Wants NYC Parks Dept. To Pay For Sewers Damaged By Trees

(file / credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(file / credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - St. Sen. Tony Avella (D-11) is urging the New York City Parks Department to foot the bill for replacing broken sewer lines penetrated by the roots of city-owned trees.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

He said the city has been avoiding responsibility for the damage to the pipes and to homeowners’ basements.

“Their response has always been ‘Tree roots cannot possibly break the pipes. They have to be damaged to begin with.’ And clearly that is not the case,” Avella told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb. “I’ve actually spoken to arborists, who, you know, deal with trees on a professional basis, and they say ‘Of course tree roots can break pipes.'”

“Any of your listeners, you know, walking in the city of New York can see how tree roots uproot concrete sidewalks,” he added.

Avella said it’s unfair for the city to tell homeowners it’s their responsibility, adding that the cost of replacing the pipe could be $10,000 depending on where the break is.

Do you agree with Sen. Avella? Sound off in the comments section below.