As compensation, the state in the 2000s offered Florida homeowners $100 Walmart gift cards for their first destroyed tree and $55 for each additional tree. In cases where homeowners resisted, authorities threatened arrest or obtained warrants to go onto private property and destroy trees.
The Florida Legislature approved payments for the Orange County homeowners last year. A third-party administrator will distribute the checks and track down homeowners whose addresses are no longer current.
Tens of thousands of homeowners in Broward, Lee and Palm Beach counties won class action lawsuits against the state over their destroyed trees, and compensations varied by county. A case in Miami-Dade County is still pending.
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP