On Friday, March 22, 2024, I enjoyed interviewing Matt Broom, HSVPOA Associate Public Services Director. He said during the initial tornado response, the crews worked nonstop from Thursday night (March 14) through Saturday (March 16). He shed light on various subjects, including waiving the roof permitting fee for tornado-impacted homes and harvesting both hazardous and non-hazardous fallen trees, to name a few.

Post-tornado permitting process

Broom said that due to the recent tornado, the permitting process for homes with storm damage has been altered. Click here to read more about that subject.

“In times like this, we don’t want property owners to go through extra hurdles to take care of their house. It is not unusual to waive permit fees during times like this. We waived the fees in January when permits to repair damaged roofs from the microburst storm were requested. We just need your contractor to come to the POA administration office and fill out the permit application [at no charge]. We don’t want residents to come in and fill out their own permits,” explained Broom.

Broom said the permits would be automatically processed in the office if you are not making changes, meaning if you are replacing the roof as built. There is no fee. There is no ACC process. We will approve it and let you go on your way.”

“We are ensuring we are familiar with the contractor and that they are licensed and reputable. This is for the protection of the property owner.”

Broom explained that the permits allow the POA to conduct inspections. “We still want to inspect all the rebuilds and ensure that all the work meets the building codes and the colors are acceptable under the POA requirements. We don’t want to see any new colors or something unusual that is clearly not what it was before the storm.”

Can property owners cut hazardous common property trees affecting their property?

“If a common property tree is leaning over your property line, the owner can take care of it without a permit. Property owners do not need permits to cut hazardous trees leaning on their property,” said Broom.

“If you want the POA to remove a common property tree that is hazardous to you, you can submit a request using the online Public Services Request Form. Click here to access the form.

Broom stated, “We are back in the swing of things and are getting to the public services requests as quickly as possible. It is business as usual for the common property team, but there is a much higher volume. We also have two contractors who work with us – Huey Applegate and [Brad] Gaston Tree Service. Usually, the response time for the private contractors is 24 to 48 hours.”

Harvesting non-hazardous fallen trees

“Contractors can obtain a permit to harvest downed common property trees for sale. We use the permitting process to monitor how much of this occurs. If you are a resident who wants to harvest firewood for your personal use, contact the Permitting Office.”

Storm cleanup

Broom said, “The cleanup stage we are in right now is utility and easement recovery. We are not necessarily cleaning up and hauling away at the moment because we do not have the equipment to do this efficiently. We have one boom truck, but it would take years for us to do this cleanup. There is no sense until we can obtain a large company with a lot of heavy equipment to do the job much faster. We are still waiting on reimbursement from FEMA or some type of grant. We hope to find out next week if we can obtain assistance.”

“We are trying to uncover the fire hydrants and remove the fallen trees from our sewer and water lines. That is where our efforts are geared right now.”

“We cleared the roads quickly and had so much community assistance with this.”

Selling timber

Broom said, “In connection with the utility and easement recovery, we are harvesting any saleable timber simultaneously to recover some of our losses. Be cautious of active logging activities in these areas. Watch for logging activities in the Balearic area, with one starting in the Minorca-DeSoto area next week.”

“We are looking at the cleanup process to last at least six months. We expect every week to get a little better.”

“It took about a year and a half to clean up the 2011 storm. We feel we have better equipment than we did then and very skilled operators. We aim to beat that mark.”

Builders meetings (This is not related to the tornado.)

Recently, Broom conducted a meeting with home builders. Builders newer to the village were required to attend. He said he is looking at different options for these types of meetings and would like to have more of them.

Featured image: In his office, Matt Broom, HSVPOA Associate Director of Public Services.

By Cheryl Dowden

Matt Broom HSVPOA Associate Director of Public Services

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