Neighborhood doesn't want trees trimmed

Published: Jul. 12, 2016 at 6:51 PM EDT
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A neighborhood scarred by the 2013 ice storm, still has many homes with signs telling the BWL to stay off their property.

"They whacked a tree here, they whacked a tree there," explained Scott McGill. "They made a heck of a mess and they totally disregarded the aesthetics of the neighborhood."

So, the utility has backed off, but says that's caused a big push back on it's 5-year vegetation management program.

"We're not getting the most bang for the buck because we want to be where the foliage is the most dense," General Manager Dick Peffley said.

Friday's storm was the worst the BWL has seen and it caused the most damage in the Glencairn neighborhood.

"The areas we had already gotten through had minimal damage and were a lot faster to restore," Peffley explained.

:It feels sort of vindictive to me," McGill said of Peffley's words. "We're not trying to deny them their responsibility to keep providing power to this area."

But, you can tell from all the limbs on wires throughout the neighborhood that the two sides haven't come to an agreement yet.

"There's a lot of growth that hasn't been trimmed in years and years," Peffley said. "So, it's not going to look real well when we're done. We understand that. So we're trying to find a happy medium, you know, we're sensitive, they are our customers."

"We want to understand the methods they're gonna use, understand the timing and work with us," McGill said.

A plan the utility said it's already putting into place.

"We work with them in advance to show them what their tree will look like after it's trimmed. If we trim it and they didn't really visualize what it looks like, we will take the tree down for them. We will give them another tree to put in it's place," Peffley said.

A conversation the BWL hopes to have with the Glencairn neighborhood.

And, not everyone in the neighborhood is against the tree trimming.

A few neighbors told News Ten they wish the BWL would come in anyway because they don't like the potential dangers of trees falling on the wires or the possibility of another power outage.

"You know a tree hits a wire, comes down and somehow, you know, somebody can end up getting hurt or electrocuted," John Remy said.

Peffley added, "A lot of times it can affect up to a thousand customers depending on how it takes the line down, it doesn't necessarily just effect one house. Now it can, but I would say more often than not it affects multiple customers."

Peffley said if you have an issue with a limb or whole tree being too close to a wire, a crew can come assess it and take care of the problem.

But, the BWL does prefer to do a whole street at a time to increase productivity and to lower costs.