The city Parks Department is charging the MTA $520,550 to remove and replace 15 large trees from city property to enable an authority construction project. That breaks down to $34,703 apiece.
"Is that a typo?" shocked Metropolitan Transportation Board member Jonathan Ballan said Monday at the MTA Finance Committee meeting.
The Parks Department has a "standard basal area replacement formula" it uses to calculate the cost of replacing trees on city property, an MTA resolution states. The MTA needs a forestry permit from the Parks Department to remove the trees located around the Manhattan on-bound and off-bound ramps to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The MTA Bridges and Tunnels division wants to replace the ramp.
In case additional trees need to be removed beyond the 15 for the ramp replacement, the MTA Finance Committee approved spending up to $750,000 for removal and replacement.
So, if that's how much it costs to remove trees, why aren't developers being forced to pony up when they remove them?