BWL COMMISSIONERS WILL NOT "PAUSE" ON QUESTION OF OLD-GROWTH TREES: CUTTING TO RESUME IMMEDIATELY

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 9:23 pm
By: 
Alice Dreger

The "Committee of the Whole" of the Board of Water and Light (BWL) met tonight and decided against conducting any discussion with old-growth East Lansing neighborhood associations about their concerns regarding the extent and type of cutting being done by Wright Tree Service, the contractor for BWL. As a consequence, trimming and removal of trees will resume first thing tomorrow morning.

As we reported yesterday, at the meeting with the Glencairn and Oakwood neighborhoods last night at Hannah Community Center, Dennis Louney, a BWL commissioner, said he would ask BWL to "pause" on tree cutting in old-growth neighborhoods of East Lansing in order to allow discussion about neighborhood concerns. Tonight, Louney put forth a motion to that effect, but no BWL Commissioner seconded Louney's motion. As a consequence, trimming and removal will continue as before.

Tomorrow night, August 20, there will be a meeting between BWL and the Chesterfield Hills neighborhood at Hannah Community Center at 6 pm. It is unclear as we go to press on this story what the purpose of this meeting will be.

Homeowners who do not wish to consent to a tree being cut or removed are instructed by BWL to tape a sign to the marked tree and to write on the sign: "I do not want any BWL or Wright trimming on this tree until I can speak, in person, with a BWL Supervisor regarding my concerns. [Insert signature],  property owner, [insert phone number].” Owners are to take a picture of the sign on the tree with the paint marking for their records in case the tree is cut against their wishes. Homeowners wishing to withhold consent to cutting are also instructed to call BWL at 702-6690. BWL may elect to take legal action to force tree cutting and tree removal.

For more background on this story, see yesterday's article.

Disclosure: Alice Dreger co-owns a home in the Oakwood Historic District and is a customer of BWL. The trees on her property are not affected by BWL’s tree trimming program but the trees of her immediate neighbors are.

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