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|Affected residents continue meeting with NStar|
|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Wednesday, 19 June 2013 09:33|
Residents who will be affected by NStar’s easement maintenance plan have been meeting with the utility and town officials to better understand exactly what trees and plants will be cut along the power company’s right-of- way.
Duxbury’s Director of Public Works Peter Buttkus and Conservation Administrator Joe Grady told the board of selectmen Monday night that over the past three weeks they have met at least 20 times with residents and NStar to discuss what vegetation will be removed along the area of the high-voltage transmission lines.
“The meetings have gone fairly well for the most part,” said Buttkus. “I think the residents are a little relieved when they have us and NStar on site and they are finding out exactly where the cut lines are and what mitigation will take place.”
NSTAR intends to remove all trees and other plants that may eventually grow taller than three feet within 10 feet on each side of the transmission lines. From the 10-foot lines out to the edges of the easement, NSTAR plans to remove all trees and other plants that may eventually grow taller than 15 feet. Low growing compatible plant species will remain.
NStar is willing to give the affected residents screening both on its own property and within its easements on residents’ property, which is helping residents to better cope with the easement cutting, according to Buttkus.
Grady estimated that approximately one hundred homes are affected by NStar’s clearing. All residents are meeting with the utility but only about half of them have asked for town representatives at the meetings, he said.
Buttkus delivered a timeline to selectmen regarding NStar’s work. He said mowers will begin to cut around in the easements next week and then the tree crews will move in after July 4. Any stumps will be ground up, and then in August, NStar is expected to come back with a landscape architect and set up individual meetings with residents to create a design for the re-plantings. These will take place from September to November.
"I think its going to be kind of a roller coaster of emotions for people,” said Buttkus. “When they found out what was going to be done, their emotions were high. When they have these meetings (with NStar), their emotions are quelled a little bit when they find out exactly what’s going to happen, but once the cutting starts in July, I think their emotions will rise up a little again.”
Selectmen asked if NStar was providing a schedule detailing which location it would be cutting on which day, because they have been told that residents want to be home at the time.
Buttkus said NStar would not give a day or time for each location they planned to cut but that residents would know when the crews begin because the equipment is so large. The project is expected to start on the Marshfield border and then work its way to toward Kingston.
“You’re going to know when the crews are starting to roll,” said Buttkus. “These are big harvesters and bailers and chippers. People are going to know when it is moving toward them. It will move fairly rapidly.”
Grady said he and Buttkus hope to be around when the cutting begins.