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Village Council— Tree-trimming moves ahead

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Spurred by several recent power outages, the Village is moving ahead quickly with more aggressive tree-trimming in the south end of town, according to Superintendent of Water and Electric Kelley Fox this week.

“With the recent storms, the trees have wreaked havoc,” Fox said. “The bottom line is that we have to trim the trees a little harder than we have in the past.”

In recent weeks, the village has suffered from several power outages. While two were linked to DP&L malfunctions, the others have all been caused by limbs downed by storms, according to Fox, who said the Village electric system infrastructure is not a factor in the outages.

“It’s the trees,” he said.

Following a discussion at Village Council’s June 20 meeting, Village staff contacted the municipal power cooperative AMP, which also has tree-trimming crews. An AMP employee came to Yellow Springs last Friday to walk the south end of town, which is the first section that will be more aggressivelty trimmed. The south part of the village is first both because it’s the section due for tree trimming, and it’s the area that’s had the most outages.

Fox said on Tuesday he expects an estimate from AMP shortly, and hopes to begin the trimming as soon as possible.

“I need them to send several crews and get this done soon,” he said.

Yellow Springs tree-trimming policy has been to clear limbs 10 feet above and below an electrical line, while some municipalities have far more aggressive policies. However, until recently the Village has been more conservative due to villagers’ concerns about the natural beauty of local trees. The Village will continue to be sensitive to aesthetics, Fox said, but will do more aggressive trimming especially of soft wood trees that tend to break, such as white pines and silver maples.

At the June 20 meeting, Council member Karen Wintrow reported hearing from many citizens about their distress at the outages.

“This many outages in this short period of time is unacceptable,” she said. Other Council members also expressed their concern about the issue.

At the June 20 meeting, Village Manager Mark Cundiff requested that villagers who are aware of specific trees that need trimming should contact him at 767-1279.

In other Council business:

• Council approved 4–1 the second reading of an ordinance that would permit residential installation of deduct meters. The move would allow gardeners and other irrigators to only pay for water used for irrigation rather than both water and sewer charges, as is currently the case.

Lori Askeland voted against, saying that she supports conservation measures rather than ways of encouraging people to use more water.

• Council voted 4–0 to award a contract for evaluating the library building to local architect Ted Donnell, who was the only bidder on the project, and whose bid of $12,725 was well below the budgeted amount for the project. Wintrow, who is married to Donnell, recused herself from the discussion and the vote.

The evaluation would investigate ways to make the library building more efficient.


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