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Preventative maintenance to Edison is 'butchering' to property owner PDF Print E-mail
Written by By BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:25
A worker puts tree limbs into a shredder along Third street in Grand Rapids. 9/9/09 (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
GRAND RAPIDS - What electric company officials call pruning, Larry Schreiber considers destruction.
As part of an ongoing aggressive program of a preventive nature, Toledo Edison routinely contracts for other companies to remove tree branches and limbs from near electrical wires.
It's definitely a preventative measure," said Debbie Paul, area manager of community relations for Toledo Edison. "It's absolutely necessary to prevent outages.
"They're just butchering these trees, and they don't care," Schreiber, who lives on a corner lot in Grand Rapids, said.
It's his contention that when the trees were trimmed previously, it was not the extensive damage done in this "trim."
"They're supposed to be trimming them, but they've been here since 9 o'clock for just three trees," the homeowner said shortly after noon on Wednesday. "They just butchered the heck out of them."
The company currently doing the work is Penn Line Service Inc., based in Pennsylvania. Paul stated that in recent years, Edison's contractors have been following a nationally-recognized treatment method.
"We have been on the offense for several years," she stated. "Trees are the leading cause of electrical outages."
She defended the method used in these cuttings.
"It's not just cutting trees, it's called the directional pruning preferred method," Paul stated.
She explained the method was developed by the National Arborist Association and recognized by American Nationals Standards Institute.
"I'll admit to anyone it does not look good to start with, but they do grow back," she said.
According to Chad Hoffman, administrator for the Village of Grand Rapids, the Penn Line group has been doing similar work around the village for roughly a month and in the area for most of the summer.
Schreiber's complaint was the first Hoffman has heard.
The Grand Rapids resident also questioned why Toledo Edison could not find local people to do the job instead of a Pennsylvania troop.
He is concerned that the poor-looking trees will destroy his property value because of the appearance.
"I think they ought to just cut them all down. Then they will never have a problem again," Schreiber stated
He indicated the trees were in place before the power lines and questioned why the lines were not installed across the road where there are no trees.
Paul indicated and Schreiber confirmed that homeowners are advised in advance of the planned cuttings which are done on the public right of way.
A customer service representative who identified himself as Mark stated the company would rather have one tree be cut than to have 5,000 people without power.
Schreiber would rather have no tree than one which has been "destroyed."
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2009 13:21

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