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Electric Co-op removing trees in Derry

DERRY - Town officials said they hope the trimming and removal of trees near power lines by the New Hampshire Electric Co-op along about 20 town roads will help cut down on storm-related power outages.

The Derry Planning Board recently held a public hearing on the removal of trees along English Range Road. The hearing was required because English Range Road is one of two scenic roads in town, although the trees scheduled for removal are not on the portion deemed scenic.

The trees along the roads, which also include Pingree HillRoad, Old Auburn Road, Hilda Drive, GarvinRoad, Symphony Lane, Winchester Avenue, Rocky Circle, Quaker Drive, Holiday Avenue, and Happy Avenue, were due to be cut two years ago but were delayed because of funding, according to Glen Sutherland of NHEC.

"We finally got the funds and put (the project) out to bid by the end of the year or we would lose the funds," said Sutherland.

Trees are deemed a hazard if they are within 15 feet of power lines. Those trees will be cut, Sutherland said.

Planning Board chairman David Granese said the cutting should help cut down on power outages.

"Those are mostly oak trees out there, and if you know from the ice storms, we had a lot of breakage from the overhang of oak trees," said Sutherland.

Planning Board member John O'Connor asked if any of the trees removed would be on private property.

"The Co-op gets easements when it constructs the lines," Sutherland said.

However, he said the Co-op does contact residents who have trees near their property.

The tree removal has begun on some of the roads which are not scenic roads, he said."

The contractor is pushing to get this done because it has to be done by Dec. 31," said Sutherland.

Town Administrator John Anderson said he supports clearing the areas near the power lines.

"The phone calls come in here fast and furious from people who don't have power and it's because we have trees very close to power lines," he said.

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Adam Swift may be reached at aswift@newstote.com.

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