I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

When the Gulf Power Tree-Trimmers Come by Your Property...

I had a call from a concerned Beulah resident. She is and has been concerned about the way Gulf Power's (Now Next Energytree-trimming crews are cutting down trees and leaving stumps. She gave me some great information back from the contractor that I'm sharing now.

Obviously, branches and tree limbs must be cleared away from power lines to protect against outages--but there are some consequences of this activity.

According to this resident, the following is applicable to the tree-cutting process this current contractor is using.  from her email:

"they have two different trimming processes in Beulah. 

With vegetation easement - Two years ago, Gulf Power tried to get property owners to sign "vegetation easements" and some did.  If the property owners signed, then Gulf Power has the right to go in 15' from their property line to "manage" vegetation.  The crew foreman will talk with the property owner before starting work, he said.  The foreman will tell them if he plans to take down a tree entirely, and the property owner should say they want the stump ground at that time.  If the property owner does not bring it up, it is not done (though they have gone back months later when customers complained). 

Without vegetation easement -  Gulf Power can cut overhanging branches at the property line.  The foreman will knock on your door and discuss what they plan to do before they start (not sure what happens if you are not there).  Sometimes, it would be better to cut the branch within the property line so that it will heal better, and the foreman will sometimes ask permission to do that.  Or the property owner can give permission to cut down a tree entirely if they want to.

So it essentially comes down to what residents have agreed to and what they insist on when the work is done"

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