Resident sues Eversource

Redding resident, Nancy Burton, claims that Eversource has aggressively overcut the trees on scenic road Cross Highway.* As a resident of this local thoroughfare, Burton has filed a complaint against the Utility to prevent them from trimming this summer, as part of the 4 year trim plan.

Since Eversource only trims every four years, they need to remove enough material to leave enough room for new growth until the next trim.

Ms. Burton is not new to bringing local agencies to court. She is a former attorney, disbarred in 2003, who has used her legal training to file suits pro se (“in one’s own behalf.” ) on various topics against the governor, the town of Redding and an organization who was trying to help her rehome goats that that were officially ordered to be removed from her property. Her recent attempts can be found here.**

Ms. Burton is well known in town because her multitude of goats are often stopping traffic when they wander onto the roads. She has brought litigation against the town in order to be allowed to keep more than the 9 goats approved by the town. Reportedly, there are over 60 currently on her property.

In her current complaint,  Burton said that the 2015 effort was a “massive tree-cutting campaign” that removed sides of trees that were at least 30 feet tall along many roadways.

She then stated, “On or about the spring of 2019, Eversource launched a new campaign to conduct severe tree-cutting in the Town of Redding, its apparent goal being to buzz-cut trees along Redding roads, including designated scenic roads, to create geometrically uniform streetscapes of powerlines where once there were trees growing in their natural undisturbed state, regardless of their real threat to delivery of electricity.”

The court denied her request to delay the work that was planned to start this Monday.

Mitch Gross, a representative for Eversource said that they have voluntarily suspended tree trimming near Burton’s home but that its important that the area be trimmed in order to prevent power outages along Cross Highway.

Gross said that Eversource works closely with homeowners and trims after discussions with the town and the tree warden. He said that all property is treated with the same respect as if they were all scenic roads.

He added, “The work scheduled to be done in the front of Ms. Burton’s property is crucial as we’ve identified trees that are coming in contact with our electric lines. It’s also important to note our vegetation management practices are designed to meet the stringent guidelines approved by our regulators to ensure proper clearances between limbs and power lines, and to maintain safe operation of our system and reliability for our customers.”

The next court action is scheduled for July 22.

No comment from the First Selectman’s office. Routinely, ongoing cases being litigated in court are not discussed, as per attorney instruction.

*Cross Highway as Scenic Road from the From Hill Road (Rt. 107) to approximately 700 feet easterly of Newtown Turnpike; Boy’s Club property line. Length in miles of scenic section: 1.9 miles. Date approved: 8 Apr 1997. Scenic Features: Hills and valley, meadows, mature trees, historic buildings, distant views.

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