Tullos woman battling town over tree limbs after receiving notice

Lavinia Sykes is a life-long resident in Tullos and her family has lived on the same land for decades.
On July 29, she received a letter from the town saying she had to make arrangements to remove her tree limbs and livestock that were overlapping from her property onto theirs.

Sykes also said the town has targeted her multiple times in the past and this was the most recent incident.

"I get a letter that I have to have them gone in ten days, and the trees cut that's hanging over or else they're going to fine me," said Lavinia Sykes, Tullos Resident.

Tullos Mayor Karla Cockerham said she contacted multiple residents about cleaning up any pieces of their property prior to state inspections. The most recent inspection was in August.

"We have to be under inspection and not under violation of different departments that inspect our yard, they come and inspect to make sure that our yard is clean, free of debris, free of any animals," said Karla Cockerham, Mayor of Tullos.

Cockerham said that there is not a fine, the ten days was not a time limit and that Sykes didn’t have to get rid of her animals, she just needed to remove them from town property.

She also said that the town just needs residents to be responsible and that the leaves from Sykes' trees would cause the town’s water storage tank to rust, which is why they need to be removed.

"We weren't saying it had to be done in ten days, we just wanted contact with her, knowing that she was going to start the process and start this," Cockerham said.

The city does not have the means to cut the trees, and Sykes would have to hire help. Sykes would have to assume liability for the workers to cut the trees saying that it is her responsibility.

"We gotta sign letters being responsible for all kinds of stuff that we're if anything, and that we're in good health and all kinds of stuff and I'm not signing that. They'd be trying to take my property if something happened," Sykes said.

"We have no concern of wanting the property, we would love to see her clean it up and live there until retirement," Cockerham said.

As for Sykes, she says she wants the town to take on the full responsibility of removing the trees.

"I just would like them to get those trees cleared and leave me alone," Sykes said.