Neighbors upset over dead tree threatening their property

Created: 07/12/2014 5:45 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque couple says they're living next to a ticking time bomb. A massive, dead tree could come crashing down at any moment and the next door neighbors can't do anything to keep it from happening.

It's not a question of if, but when and that's what has Kathy Griego really worried. She lives next door to an old dead tree that’s now leaning dangerously close to collapse. When it finally does it'll fall right onto her property and take out her irrigation ditch and that's not all.

“It's going to do damage to the fences, to the irrigation ditch that it's leaning across, maybe hurt some animals that are living around it. The dogs. There’s a cow next door. Hopefully, not people that are under it when it cracks,” said Griego.

So why not just cut it down? Well, she can't. The tree is rooted on her neighbor's property. On the other side of those no trespassing signs and the neighbors are long gone.

"That house has been vacant, to the best of my knowledge for at least the last year," she said. She has no idea where the neighbors went and she's been calling everyone she can think of to try and get some help.

"We've talked to everybody we know to talk to about this and part of the problem is the conservancy district does not own this run off ditch. It’s not on their property. So, they're not assuming responsibility to do anything about the tree," said Griego.

When it finally does fall, she worries she'll be stuck with the cleanup bill.   

We contacted both city and county leaders about the situation. A spokesperson for Bernalillo County told us, the county is looking into the matter, but she advised the homeowner to call the public works division.

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