100-year-old Fresno woman locked in battle with city over tree in her yard

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 100-year-old woman in Fresno is having a problem with City Hall.

She has a water leak in her yard that's costing her hundreds of dollars a month, and she believes a tree planted by the city decades ago is to blame.

Corinne Reed is paying for that water, and she and her daughter want the city to make it stop.

Reed's lived in that home for 60 years.

The water leak appears to be caused by the roots of a tree planted by the city of Fresno, and it is turning into a battle against city hall. The tree seems to have busted a water line, causing water to run continuously and raising Reed's water bill.

The water can be seen pooled beneath the tree. It's flooded the city water meter and runs into the street.

Reed's daughter, Aileen, says it started last year.

"My mom's water bill went from $79 to $110. Then it was $234 then it was $247. We couldn't afford it," she said.

She's asked the city to remove the tree and stop the expensive leak. City Council Member Miguel Arias is aware of the problem and at last week's City Council meeting, asked Public Works Director Scott Mozier what could be done.

Mozier said the city could fix damage to sidewalks and curbs but under state law, not plumbing that went beyond the meter.

The Reverend Floyd Harris says since the city planted the tree, and installed the meter, they need to take some responsibility for the damage it's causing.

"It's sad we can't even take care of our senior citizens in our community. It's sad that south of Shaw people are treated differently than people living north of Shaw. If we want to be fair, fairness, you are dealing with a 100-year-old mother who has paid her taxes on time, she hasn't caused any trouble, she just wants the tree removed. In the meantime, the water is running and we have to pay for the water," said Harris.

Fresno communications director Mark Standriff tells Action News the city is looking for a solution and Miguel Arias is expected to discuss the problem with residents at a town hall meeting at City Hall on Thursday night.
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