City to pay residents for tree damage to cars

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Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday settled the tree-damage claim that last week prompted Councilman Patrick Dowd to criticize Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's management of the city.

Mr. Dowd joined his colleagues in approving the payment of about $5,000 to Lincoln-Lemington resident Tonya Session, who sought compensation for vehicle damage caused by branches that fell from a city-owned tree.

The councilman had complained that a proliferation of tree-damage claims, outlined in a recent controller's audit of the Law Department, was a sign of Mr. Ravenstahl's poor management.

However, public works director Rob Kaczorowski assured Mr. Dowd that he was working on a plan to improve forestry operations, and Mr. Dowd said that's why he supported the settlement in Tuesday's final vote.

At its standing committee meeting today, council is scheduled to take a preliminary vote on settlement of another tree-damage claim. The proposal would pay $3,425 to Brookline resident Robert S. Gray, who also claimed vehicle damage from branches that fell from a city-owned tree.

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