CL&P Looking to Cut Trees in South End of Town
WETHERSFIELD - Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) will need to cut more trees in Wethersfield--representatives from the company came to the Nov. 18 Town Council meeting to outline their plans to trim on streets mostly in the south end of town.

       “This is to give our customers reliable service, both on blue sky days and when Mother Nature is not so kind,” said David Goodson, manager of CL&P’s Vegetative Management Department, outside Council Chambers during the meeting.

       Goodson estimated that one-fourth to one-third of power outages that occur on a “routine day” are tree-related. Add the element of a snowstorm or hurricane, both of which the state has seen recently, and trees will account for 90 percent of outages, he said.

       “The backbone of our system is our main concern, because all of our lines run off the backbone,” Goodson told the residents during his presentation.

       That is supposed to be finished no later than New Year’s Eve, and preferably by Christmas, Goodson said.

       For Wethersfield officials and residents, who were blindsided a few months ago by unsightly tree trimming by CL&P along Ridge Road, on the Broad Street Green, and on Church Street in Old Wethersfield, this probably was not good news, but Goodson expects things to run more smoothly this time.

       The [Wethersfield] tree warden and our arborist have taken a lot of time driving down roads and figuring out what they’re going to do here, what they’re not going to do there,” Goodson said.

       And more importantly, residents will be notified well in advance, Goodson said. CL&P plans to go door-to-door, and will ensure that those who are not home when they are making their runs are given warning as well, he said.

       “We have a door hanger, which we leave, but because the statute requires that we give notification, we don’t do the work until we’ve notified,” Goodson said.

       Apparently that was an issue last time-with then-deputy mayor John Console fielding correspondences from residents claiming they had no idea that the trimming was occurring. Officials and residents reported seeing trees with massive holes left in them, and some that seemed ready to tip over into nearby buildings.

       This time around, the Broad Street Green, one of the areas where work was done last time, will likely see five trees come down, Goodson said.

       “This is subjective, but we’ve been told by residents that the work was done so aggressively, and that the appearance was striking,” Mayor Paul Montinieri told the CL&P representatives during the meeting.

       Town officials and residents attributed this to a lack of supervision of the crews deployed by CL&P’s contractors--a problem that Goodson said the company is prepared to remedy this time around.

       “More time needs to be spent with those crews-with the tree warden and the arborist before those crews start,” Goodson said. “And the routine oversight by the tree warden, the deputy tree warden, the arborist, and quite frankly, since my office is nearby, I’ll be coming down too.”

       Outside the meeting, Goodson told reporters that it is “possible, but not probable” that CL&P will have to perform similar work in Wethersfield on an annual basis.