SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Officials in Georgia's oldest city say a construction contractor fatally injured a century-old live oak tree, and they're demanding $37,000 for the damage.
Savannah city officials said in a news release Monday that a construction crew employed by Dustcom Limited severely damaged the roots of a 47-foot live oak last month while digging a hole for a restaurant's water line on W. Oglethorpe Avenue. Officials say the crew failed to notify the city that it was digging on public property, violating the project's right-of-way permit.
According to 11Alive's Savannah affiliate WSAV, the city issued a stop-work order to assess the condition of the tree.
Savannah officials say arborists determined the tree, which is more than 100 years old, can't be saved and should be removed for public safety reasons.
City Hall wants the contractor to pay a $500 fine plus expenses. It appraised the value of the tree at more than $27,600.
According to WSAV, the city plans to removed the damaged tree within the next 10 days.
Material from the Associated Press contributed to this report.