Call 4 Action: Tree Troubles in Harlingen

A Harlingen man claims he should not have to pay for damage done to his home after a city tree fell onto his property, but the city said they are not at fault.

Its been more than two months the tree split in two, but Mario Rodriguez is still paying the consequences for what he says wasn't his problem to begin with.

"I was told that when a tree is about to fall or when you suspect it needs maintenance you need to report it to the city," he said.

It happened back in May at his Fillmore Street home.

One side of the tree still stands tall today, but the other knocked a power cable down, causing Rodriguez problems with his electrical meter and breaker box.

"I was told when the city inspector came and looked at it that the tree belonged to the city, he added. And he even mentioned that it was likely that the city would cover the costs."

But unfortunately for him, that wasn't the case. The total costs to fix the meter and the cable came out to be $1100, and it is all coming out of his pocket.But he says that is not fair.

Action 4 news took his concerns to the City of Harlingen's Risk Manager Yenicia Dominguez.

"I explained to the gentlemen that the city is not liable for damages caused due to weather conditions," she said, adding that city's insurance agency assessed the damage but determined the city was not at fault.

Action 4 News also asked Rodriguez how residents are supposed to know if a tree need maintenance, on of the criteria needed for the city to take Action.

Her answer: "I really don TMt know but if you know that the tree has been there for a while it doesn't hurt for you to call public works and say you know what id like for you to send somebody out and just do an inspection of my tree."

She said she stands by the city's insurance agency and will not help with the costs because she feels the city were not negligent.