Trustees talk trees

WELLSVILLE-In a short meeting Tuesday night, Yellow Creek Township trustees discussed recent issues involving damaged phone lines caused by falling trees.

Trustees say that with the unusually high rain totals this summer, the township’s road department has already dealt with about six trees which have fallen onto township roads. In many of these cases, the trees also have torn down phone lines along the roadway, according to Trustee Kenny Biacco.

The recent regularity of these types of events lead trustees to question who is responsible for cleanup and regular maintenance, such as trimming trees along the roadway to prevent future downing of phone lines.

“When a tree falls on a township roadway, we’ll clean it up, but when it brings the wires down with it, that’s another issue,” said Biacco.

There are a number of factors that can make cleaning up a tree, which has down phone lines, risky for township road crews, according to Biacco. Phone lines are often very high tension and can even sometimes entirely prop a falling tree up. When road crews remove the tree or tree limb from the line this can create a dangerous slingshot affect, explained Biacco. Electric lines are typically positioned highest among the lines on the telephone pole and are not always brought down by falling trees, says Biacco. When electric lines do come down, AEP promptly responds to address the problem.

“If we do call AEP, they’re pretty good about coming right away,” the trustee said.

Biacco said he has contacted AT&T district manager Jeff Smith about the issue and was assured that Smith or a company representative would sit down with trustees soon to discuss the township’s options.

Trustees held an executive session after the regular session – for personnel reasons to discuss road department employees and budgetary matters – but no action was taken.