As a result of the meeting, Eversource decided to suspend the program in New Canaan until it has a chance to review the process, the company announced.
"We recently met with First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and other local leaders to re-visit the details of our reliability work, which includes electric system upgrades, tree-trimming and tree removal. Addressing concerns about tree work was the primary focus of our conversations," Eversouce said in a letter to customers. "Eversource voluntarily suspended tree work associated with these upgrades based on concerns raised by some New Canaan customers and community partners."
The company explained that although trees bring local beauty, they are the No. 1 cause of power outages in storms.
"For example, in the last four years, we know that there have been 214 outages in one portion of town just because of trees," Eversource said.
Other Eversource communities that have undergone tree trimming have shown a 40 percent reduction in tree-related power outages. "With the town’s renewed support, we look forward to bringing similar results to New Canaan," Eversource said.
The details of Eversource's revised plan include:
- Reviewing 71 miles of power lines to address trees, branches and other vegetation that are encroaching on the electric system in New Canaan.
- Marking hazardous trees for possible removal. Trees on town property will be evaluated by New Canaan’s tree warden, who will then determine whether they should be removed. Decisions about trees on private property are made with the property owner.
- As part of that review, 19 trees that were marked for removal along portions of Canoe Hill Road, Valley Road and Ferris Hill Road will now be trimmed.
- Eversource's contractor, Lewis Tree Service, will go door-to-door. If a resident receives a door hanger because they were not home, they are asked to contact Lewis Tree through the number provided on the card as soon as possible about the tree.
- Replacing 16 poles with new, stronger poles.
- Upgrading wooden cross-arms on poles with stronger and more weather-resistant, composite material.
- Installing “fuse savers” to prevent long-term outages due to momentary contact with electric wires.
- Connecting a “circuit loop” that enables power to quickly flow from an alternate path, reducing the number of customers who may experience an outage.
For project details, locations and maps can be found at http://www.newcanaan.info/.
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