Monday, February 2, 2009

Change 2009?

Being without power in Fayetteville for 5 days was rough. But, last Saturday afternoon power was restored to my area. It's good to know that after having power back for 54 hours, SWEPCO decided to go ahead and cut power off to half my apartment complex this evening.

The ice storm labeled "Jan 27 Ice Storm" by many utility companies really wasn't that bad. Only 3/4 to 1 inch of ice in most places. However, falling trees knocked out power lines to much of the NWA area. But these were not trees that have been around generations. Most of these trees were small ones, no older than 10-15 years. These trees were protected by the city because it wanted to be known as a tree-friendly city. They prevent trees from being trimmed around power lines because it exposes lines and it makes for ugly trees. 

The city of Fayetteville, has been a member of "Tree City USA" for 13 years and has only strengthened the grip of conversationalists on this area. To cut down a tree in your own yard, you are required to ask the Urban Forestry department permission. This department is made up of people who oppose growth, push for pointless higher taxes (Fayetteville, when including state/county taxes, has a 11.25% sales tax on hotels, motels, and restaurants), and push for "beautification projects" on the outskirts of town. 

Power companies recommend that small trees are placed no closer than 15 feet from utility lines, medium 30, large 40. By driving around this city you can clearly see, that the city of Fayetteville, does not abide by these recommendations.

In the aftermath of this storm, one thing has become clear; Fayetteville, AR, USA will not be included in the annual listings for Tree City USA. What a shame.  

Just so you know, I don't like to make up my facts. So for your viewing pleasure The City of Fayetteville, Landscape Manual.pdf

It is always good to know that events like the recent ice storm can be drasitically avoided when following proper guidelines given to us by our ultility companies.

And knowing is half the battle.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Not trimming branches from around power lines just for "beautification" reasons is totally irresponsible in my opinion. Sad when you think of what could have been prevented. Kind of like those who oppose proscribed burning, yet complain when they have to deal with wildfires which spread more rapidly due to brush build-up.