Oncor is getting ready to trim trees from power lines in Lakewood. During the great Oncor tree-trim fiasco of 2009, hundreds of customers all over the city were outraged that the utility had “mutilated”, “massacred”, “raped” their trees. I’m talking outrage.

Now that Oncor is coming into an old neighborhood with old trees, some of which haven’t been trimmed in eight-10 years, the utility is offering two alternatives to homeowners in the Lakewood area.

The first is a pilot program offering homeowners to meet with an Oncor arborist to determine how best to trim the trees. The idea was that workers would come through and trim the trees according to the arborist’s suggestions. That’s not exactly how it went down, though. Many homeowners in the program say there was a disconnect. Once the arborists left, the tree trimmers came through and buzzed away without regard to the plan.

The second alternative involves entering into a contract with Oncor. If homeowners sign a two-page contract releasing Oncor of some responsibility for damages and safety, then they can hire workers to cut their trees back to 7 feet from the power lines, instead of the 10-feet-4-inches that is Oncor’s standard.

Oncor vice president Debbie Dennis met with Lakewood neighbors Tuesday night to discuss the contract and the pilot program.

Dennis says Oncor has a responsibility and a right to keep the lines clear. Cutting trees to 10-foot-4-inches of the lines means trimming less frequently, therefore saving money for the company and the customer.

A copy of Oncor’s “Alternative Tree Maintenance Agreement” is available at the Lakewood Homeowners Association website.

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