Needham Officials Submit Concerns to NSTAR
A letter sent Friday, July 27 outlines questions and issues about the company's tree removal project as raised by local representatives at a meeting held last Thursday.
A letter Needham officials submitted to NSTAR last week asks that the electric company "make a good faith effort" to ensure that every property owner has adequate notice about the tree removal work that will be done in the area in the coming weeks.
The letter, sent on Friday, July 27, outlines nine requests raised at a summit meeting held on Thursday, July 26 and attended by local legislators and representatives from town departments and state agencies.
"The town asks that NSTAR make a good faith effort to assure that every property owner has actual notice of the type of work planned on or adjacent to his or her property, as well as the approximate date that the work will be performed," states the letter, which is addressed to NSTAR President Thomas May and signed by State Representative Denise Garlick, State Senators Richard Ross and Michael Rush and Needham Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick.
"We understand NSTAR's need to assure uninterrupted operation of the power grid and to accomplish that goal in a cost effective manner," the letter states. "At the same time, we know that NSTAR respects the importance of minimizing inconvenience to the public and the right of residents to the quiet enjoyment of their own homes and property."
The letter includes the following requests:
- That NSTAR clearly mark the trees that are slated for removal;
- That NSTAR be willing to meet with each property owner to discuss concerns and options;
- That NSTAR provide "written assurance" that plans that are communicated to residents are followed by the contractor doing the work;
- That NSTAR consider leaving some trees that have been identified as "incompatible" but which are not yet at the 15-foot height limit that may cause issues with the transmission lines overhead;
- And that the company keep Needham's tree warden informed about the project and its progress.
Officials also are asking that NSTAR's tree removal "be no more extensive than that which is reasonably required to protect the transmission lines from falling or other tree contact, and that the work not cause more hardship than absolutely necessary."
The letter also outlines some areas of particular concern, such as the Elmwood Road neighborhood, DeFazio Park complex, Needham Golf Club and properties under the jurisdiction of the Trustees of Reservations/Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The letter raises additional questions from officials, such as how NSTAR will mark out the limit of its right-of-way and how the company will monitor and respond to erosion concerns.
See the full letter as images (three individual pages) in the gallery above. A map of the area where the work will be done can also be seen in the above gallery under PDFs.