State Rep. Mike D’Agostino, D – Hamden, has formally asked United Illuminating to suspend its current activity in Hamden until the town has hired a full time arborist, a process that is in the works.
His request stipulated that no trees purportedly in the right of way should be identified or tagged for trimming or removal until Hamden’s arborist is hired and has had the ability to engage in that process.
The request came after a town hall meeting where UI was given the opportunity to respond to questions from the public. Hamden’s legislative council president stated that there was a plan to hire a full time arborist and that the hiring process is presently underway.
"No one disputes that damaged and dying trees that threaten power lines and public safety should be removed but UI's plans go drastically further than that and call for the removal of perfectly healthy trees. This is unacceptable,” D’Agostino said. “I have therefore asked UI to suspend its plans in Hamden, at least until the town can hire an arborist to review and oversee UI's plan.”
Last month D’Agostino asked the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for an injunction to stop UI’s plan, claiming that UI hadn’t given adequate information or warning about this process. Similar calls were echoed by other towns where UI has announced they intend to cut.
“I have also spoken with PURA Chairperson Arthur House and asked PURA to revise its draft decision, which is not yet final, so as to curtail UI's authority,” said D’Agostino. “We all have seen the unnecessary mass deforestation occurring in our highways in CT. That cannot happen in our town. Property values will plummet."