After emotional public outcry, KU will review tree-cutting policy

Urban Council spends three hours discussing issue

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Massacred, unilateral decisions, frustrating, one size fits all, disrespectful, disgrace were just some of the emotional comments Tuesday during the Urban County Council’s three-hour discussion about Kentucky Utilities clear-cutting of trees along some power lines and plans to do more next year. Much of the impact s far has been in the 4th and 9th districts with more planned in the 5th District.

The utility says the cutting is needed to safeguard against power outages by keeping fallen limbs and trees out of those lines. Residents say it’s needless butchering that puts profits ahead of people, destroys one of the community’s greatest assets, hurts property values and worsens drainage.

“It can be managed, it can be trimmed with a great deal of ease and these magnificent trees can continue to live but that’s not satisfactory with Kentucky Utilities for basically no reason at all,” said Fifth District resident Rob Walker who was the first in a string of residents who spoke.

Representatives of KU also spoke, outlining why they do the cutting, and on what their decisions are based.

After meetings with Mayor Linda Gorton, neighborhood groups, and the people who spoke Tuesday, the utility agreed to a moratorium and to revisit its policies.

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