UI Pulls Back on Tree Removal Program

There will be more discussion about a controversial tree removal program before United Illuminating commences any action, according to its vice president for Electric System Operations.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

"When our customers speak, we listen."

And many of their customers have been very clear: they don't want United Illuminating to go forward with its "Enhanced Tree Trimming" program.

The program involves removing trees that surround utility poles in an effort to lessen outages during storms such as the ones that have hit the area in the last several years.

"Although many customers expressed support for the program’s overall goals, many also raised concerns about its potential impact on roadside trees and the character of neighborhoods," UI said in a release Tuesday.

“Our customers spoke and we listened. We heard what they had to say,” said Joseph D. Thomas, vice president for Electric System Operations at UI. “As a result, we have asked the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to hold a technical meeting so that PURA, UI and other interested parties can discuss the concerns we’ve heard from many of our customers, while also dealing with the initial objective of reducing tree-related outages.”

At that meeting, the discussion will include alternatives to taking down trees within eight feet of electrical lines, Thomas said.

Many Hamden residents voiced strong objections to the plan when it became known in recent weeks, forming the group "Save Hamden Trees." Many of those spoke at a Jan. 15 forum held at Hamden Middle School with UI officials, urging them to reconsider the plans.

On Monday, a Legislative Council committee approved spending up to $25,000 to hire an arborist to work with UI to determine which trees are appropriate for removal. The full council will act on the proposal Monday.

In the release, Thomas said that UI is "sensitive to customers’ and neighbors’ concerns, and will continue to work with local tree wardens, elected officials, community organizations and others to ensure that the program is conducted with transparency, and is appropriate to the neighborhood’s needs."

Linda C February 03, 2014 at 01:37 PM
JDC did you read the article in today's register about how HAMDEN"S Financial situation being WORSE Than DETROIT? A 32 % mill increase since Jackson was elected and if you think it's over - boy are you mistaken!! Seems he was slightly off on his figures when he Bonded the Pension Fund - only by Half! So whatever you thought the taxpayers would have to pay annually - DOUBLE that - I believe it came out to just below 7k annually. Oh and a REAL shocker - the Hamden retirees have one of the most lucrative retirement packages seen in years! WAKE UP HAMDEN - BANKRUPTCY IS ON YOUR DOOR STEP - YOUR GREED WILL GET YOU 25 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR IF YOU'RE LUCKY WHEN THE COURTS GET THROUGH WITH THIS TOWN!! PLEASE SOMEONE BUY MY HOUSE BEFORE THE TAX BILLS COME OUT IN JULY!!! HOW'S THAT VOTE FOR JACKSON SITTING WITH YOU NOW?
J D C February 03, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Linda C, your kidding yourself if you think you'll get a TRUTHFUL answer to that! They STILL think him and Oblunder are GOOD! LOL
J D C February 03, 2014 at 01:51 PM
Jackson went to Hamden public schools right?
Linda C February 03, 2014 at 01:54 PM
I don't know everyone has their price - guess we will see just how much they're willing to pay before they cry Uncle!! lol Someday they might even realized we weren't bitter - just RIGHT!!
Linda C February 03, 2014 at 01:55 PM
Of course - you've seen his MATH SKILLS!


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