Saturday, April 20, 2013
It's all about the contracts...
From CBS New York:
As CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff reported exclusively on Wednesday, the landscape has changed greatly in some communities where more than 200 stumps are all that are left of decades old Bradford pear and cherry trees.
“Every one of them is gone, it’s horrible,” Manhasset business owner Jamie Mazzei told Gusoff.
Residents said they don’t buy the county’s argument that Hurricane Sandy damaged all of the downed trees.
“There was some type of financial motive here because the more they cut, the more they got paid. And I think if there was a tree where there was any question that they could cut, they would cut,” Manhasset resident John Vlahakis said.
He told Gusoff he was aghast watching tree after tree get chopped down and begged crews to spare a few.
“There is nothing wrong with this tree and that’s how the majority of the trees were,” Vlahakis told Gusoff.
Looks Great Services removed the trees on behalf of Nassau County.
Looks Great is currently part of several law enforcement probes into how Sandy clean-up contracts were awarded, Gusoff reported.
The Huntington company was paid $200 to $5,000 per tree as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA is ultimately responsible for repaying Nassau County for the cost of the tree removal and the replanting, officials said.