First Selectman Pat Llodra has signed on to letters that were sent March 20 to Governor Dannel Malloy and Nicholas E. Neeieyl, executive secretary of the CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) opposing a moratorium on a tree trimming program put in place following a series of devastating storms in 2011 and 2012.
Mrs Llodra joined colleagues whose communities are members of the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO) signing on to a statement recognizing that PURA has requested tree trimming efforts by the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) be scaled back. CL&P has been directed to curtail what is described as "enhanced" tree trimming programs, including removal of entire trees.
The memo refers to a recent PURA statement: “In recent weeks, many individuals including property owners, tree wardens, environmental advocates and elected officials have written to PURA or offered testimony opposing the tree trimming activities underway in parts of the state.”
According to the letter being sent to Gov Malloy and PURA, Mrs Llodra and her HVCEO colleagues “wish to make it clear that the mayors and first selectmen of the Greater Danbury Area are not included in this opposition group.
“The Legislature called for more aggressive tree trimming practices in the aftermath of large scale power outages suffered during massive storms in 2011 and 2012,” the letter continues. “We supported those more aggressive efforts. But memories are short; enhanced trimming efforts should not now be scaled back.
Officials state that CL&P’s enhanced tree trimming programs have been successful in this area. In addition, Mrs Llodra told The Newtown Bee that she has received no complaints from the public concerning tree trimming.
The officials signing on, including first selectmen from Bethel, Redding, Brookfield, Sherman, Ridgefield, New Fairfield and Bridgewater, and the mayors of New Milford and Danbury, say they “object to any reduction as it could exacerbate weather related power outages and threaten the health and safety of citizens”
The community leaders also “strongly request that PURA not interfere with the vegetation management programs that have been mandated by the Legislature to preserve public safety.”