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DEPUE — Earlier this week, DePue Village Board decided to let concerned residents deal with a tree issue on a neighboring private property.

The large, dilapidated tree located at 208 Newell St. is on the verge of falling over and possibly causing damage to surrounding properties.

As previously reported, the homeowner of the property is currently a ward of the state and is unable to rectify the issue. Neighbors of the property have addressed the village board and asked if the village would pay to have the tree removed.

As the matter was discussed at the last meeting, the board was unsure which direction to take. While the tree has created a pressing issue that may affect public safety, the village was unsure if stepping in on a private property matter at the village’s expense would be crossing a line and creating an unfair situation, if in the future, residents addressed the board about other problematic trees in their neighborhoods.

While village President Eric Bryant had expressed interest in wanting to remove the tree in this particular case because it was a “unique” situation where the homeowner was in a long-term facility, the village board brought up the concern of drawing a line when it came to issues on private properties.

“The board is setting a precedent,” Bryant said on Friday.

He said the village considered taking the tree down because of the public safety, but in the end determined the village just wouldn’t be able to afford to have future problematic trees removed if it was requested by other residents.

At Monday’s village board meeting, the village went into closed decision to discuss the matter and decided to take the issue off the table.

Bryant said if the neighbors continue to pursue to the issue, they will go through the court system in order to get permission from the homeowner to have the tree taken down.

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