Hamden Council Committee Approves Hiring Arborist

United Illuminating's Enhanced Tree Trimming program prompted the proposal.

Patch File Photo.
Patch File Photo.

Town officials want to make sure any tree removed from around utility poles truly needs to be gone before any action is taken.

To that end, the Legislative Council's Administrative Committee approved spending up to $25,000 to hire a part-time arborist to work with United Illuminating in determining which trees will be removed as part of its "Enhanced Tree Trimming" program.

The town has a tree warden who will work with the arborist, Chief Administrative Officer Curt Balzano Leng said. 

"We feel we need the expertise of an arborist with experience in tree issues," Leng said. "The town's position is that this has gone too far."

But, he said there are some trees that should be taken down because they are not thriving, and the town welcomes help with those trees, he said. Otherwise, if a tree is healthy, a process needs to be followed to determine its fate, he said.

Council President Jim Pascarella, who also represents the eighth district, said he has been inundated with calls from residents concerned about the removal of desirable trees. But, he said, to his knowledge none of those calls have come from anyone who lives on a targeted street.

"I would like to see the list of tagged trees made public," Pascarella said. Property owners who own the trees are live adjacent to trees on public land need to be notified in writing by both the town and United Illuminating before any action is taken, he said.

"It's a struggle to balance the interests of the town with private property rights," he said.

United Illuminating, in its forum on the program Jan. 15, cited a state statute that allows it to carry out the program, Councilman-at-Large Austin Cesare said. The council should be approaching its state delegation, including Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, to get that law changed, he said.

Next Monday the proposal to allocate the funds goes to the full council.
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 07:17 PM
Len, these internet petitions are useless without residency verification. There are programs (apps) on the internet that can flood petitions sites on the internet with bogus names. Creatable internet petitions sites will ask the petition signer to enter a code, which the petition site sends the signer, to verify that a human is at the key board and not one of these apps is sending the information.
Thomas Alegi January 28, 2014 at 11:56 PM
Linda, who have been asking about changing Town Charter here is an interesting internet site to go to. http://charterreformnow.wordpress.com/
Linda C January 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Interesting Thomas but not surprising - why would they do anything to give away their ultimate power - yet they're the only one with the power to table it - Unreal!! Thanks Thomas
Linda C January 29, 2014 at 12:18 PM
Len what the hell are You Smoking? I am not now nor ever been in favor of hiring an Arborist!!! All I said is why must this so called tree trimming begin at the base of the tree - do you really need an arborist to tell you how to TRIM BACK LIMBS? Just doesn't seem to be an option was my point - I also commented on how STUPID it was to spend 25k on an Arborist yet deny 35 k for cop cameras - so wake up bud!! lol
Linda C January 29, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Also the trees I was complaining about were 20 out of 22 trees on my street that were taken down to 6 inch stubs so that the Street Paver and Snow Plow wouldn't get SCRATCHED!!! They put hand written notes in peoples mailboxes on Friday Morning that they would be trimming the trees and when people returned from work Friday night - all the trees were GONE!!! Don't need a tree expert to tell you that was MESSED UP!! So please Len accuse me of anything other than being on the side of the IDIOTS WHO RUN THIS TOWN!!!


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