First Selectman Beth Heller along with Town Hall staff visited the Fitzgerald Tract on Monday, July 16. During her visit, she received an update from Town Tree Warden, Warren Connors, who has been working closely with tree companies under contract with United Illuminating. The work UI is conducting throughout their service territory is to clear the utility protection zone (eight feet on either side of power lines) and remove dead trees and limbs that present a hazard to power lines.
On Town roads, such as Beecher Road, this work plan requires the approval of the Town Tree Warden. On State roads, such as Center Road, the State Department of Transportation grants approval. Ms. Heller has instructed staff that the tree trimming and removal on Beecher Road along the perimeter of the Town-owned Fitzgerald Tract be as minimal as possible while ensuring that public safety is maintained. She has received assurance that as much of the canopy as possible will be preserved to provide shade to the walking trails. Only limbs in the utility protection zone will be removed along with dead trees and saplings that impede access to the dead trees. Ms. Heller will continue to carefully monitor progress and has asked staff to draft a replanting plan for this area.