Woman wants compensation after MoDOT damages property

A Maries County woman is outraged and said her property will never be the same and she holds MoDOT responsible for the damage.

"In my lifetime it will never grow up and be the same as it was," Byrnece Finn said.

Finn's property in Vienna changed forever in December when MoDOT workers mistakenly cut down dozens of trees.

"They cut 52 trees, healthy trees, not dead trees, healthy trees and they trimmed a number of large tree branches that were not bothering anything and all of this was on my property, not on the right-of-way," Finn said.

Green and orange flags now dot Finn's property.

The green ones show where a tree was downed while the orange flags orange show damaged trees.

MoDOT has offered to re-plant 17 of the 52 trees and give Finn $500.

Finn's daughter said that's not enough.

"I believe that the government has to be held accountable just like private citizens have to be held accountable, Barbara Brewer said. I believe if they do wrong then they have to adequately compensate those that they have harmed just as a private citizen has to."

KRCG went to MoDOT to find out what went wrong.

"In this case a neighbor had actually requested us to trim along there. MoDOT district engineer Roger Schwartze said.

Schwartze said the workers were trimming trees so the sunshine could melt snow and ice off the nearby road.

MoDOT did get off the right of way as we were trimming trees along the highways and we're very sorry for that, Schwartze said.

When KRCG asked Schwartze what he thought about Finn rejecting their offer of $500 and 17 new trees this was his response:

"I have a different opinion only because I like to have my yard kept neat and clean and Mrs. Brewer's of the other opinion, she wants it natural and lets it all grown up, Schwartze said. That's just a difference in how we would take care of our properties."

Finn's daughter has contacted Senator Dan Brown to get involved.

She told KRCG Brown called MoDOT and said their offer was unacceptable.

Finn has not decided what her next step is going to be to get compensated for the damage.

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