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Neighbors voice complaints to NYSEG

(Source: Jeremy Donovan)

BINGHAMTON -- Driving down Riverside Drive and through the streets of Binghamton, it's a reminder how upset some Binghamton residents were after NYSEG trimmed trees around  power lines.  Some homeowners complained the trees were butchered, and the beauty of their neighborhoods destroyed.  Tuesday night at a public forum with NYSEG, some tempers still hadn't cooled.

"I think you heard several times tonight people said 'I didn't know it was going to be like this.'  So I think we need to go back and look at providing them with more detailed information up front than we do and also have meetings like this up front instead of after the fact," said Clayton Ellis, Manager of Public Affairs, NYSEG.

But for some area residents and property owners, the damage is already done.

"It's just important to remember that trees are part of the value of a property and when NYSEG goes into Binghamton and counts out trees and mutilates them we're cutting out value in our community," said Charlie Ackerman, local real estate agent.

Ackerman says that a fully grown tree can add from $10,000 to $30,000 of value to a lot and that it might be more cost effective to bury the power lines instead of cutting around them.  But according to Ellis that might not be the case.

"Undergrounding power lines is very expensive, very complicated, and from an environmental perspective people may not think about it this way but it may be more of a problem than putting an overhead line in," Ellis said.

But Mayor Matt Ryan says there are other options.

"We should never plant another tree in a utility strip that's going to reach the wires," Ryan said.

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