VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE
July 30, 2014
234 North Pearl Street
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:12pm)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Johnson, Lerner, Montgomery, O’Keefe, Vice Mayor Barsky, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Stilwell and Law Director King.
Vice Mayor Barsky moved to excuse Councilmember McGowan. Second by Councilmember O'Keefe. Motion passed.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilmember O'Keefe moved to approve the agenda. Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. Motion passed.
DISCUSSION OF AEP ELECTRICAL REPLACEMENT PROJECT
Mayor Hartfield thanked everyone for attending this special meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the upcoming replacement of electrical poles on North Pearl Street, the impact to the trees and any existing confusion.
Manager Stilwell thanked the Lerners for hosting this meeting. Service Director Hopkins and the Tree and Landscape Commission (Don Hostetter, Lyn Kishler, Don Pheneger and Jim Siegel) were in attendance to answer questions. AEP representatives were also available – Community Affairs Manager Paul Prater, Distribution Services Manager Craig Griffith, Utility Forester Supervisor John Smith and Technician Specialist David Howiler.
Manager Stilwell emphasized that Village Council did not direct the removal of any street trees. Service Director Hopkins and Tree and Landscape Commission Chair Don Hostetter visited many residents on North Pearl Street. Their intent was to speak to residents on a one on one basis regarding the process. AEP advised the Village that they would replace the current electrical distribution poles with taller poles and upgrade the electrical lines. They would be willing to bury lines, but the cost of the project would be at least $800,000 and would be the Village’s responsibility. As part of the process, both the telephone and cable lines would also need to be moved to the new poles. AEP representatives were available to answer questions. Village Council and staff hope to clarify any issues with this project.
AEP Paul Prater indicated that the electrical distribution lines on North Pearl Street needed to be upgraded to insure continuous electrical service to Village and Township residents. With the replacement of the poles, construction would require trimming trees for the installation. The phone and cable lines would then be transferred and could require additional trimming. The cable and phone lines would more than likely just be moved laterally rather than raised. The Village would also be replacing sidewalks that could also damage roots during that process. AEP would recommend removing trees and replacing them with a more appropriate tree for the location. AEP was willing to do the tree removal and provide the Village with $200 per tree replaced, which was $100 more than most tree replacements.
Manager Stilwell showed a display with all the trees that could be impacted.
Resident Dan Bellman commented that taller poles were installed on East College Street without cutting trees back. The PUCO only allows ten feet of cutting on trees.
Resident Fran Bellman asked if the equipment (transformers) would also be updated. Mr. Prater answered in the affirmative.
Mr. Prater indicated that this project would take about six months, beginning in the fall. He indicated that the project would cause inconvenience for North Pearl Street residents as well as travelers on North Pearl Street.
Manager Stilwell asked the expense to adjacent residents as part of the upgrade. Mr. Prater responded that there would be no expense.
Manager Stilwell asked if there would be any disruption in service. Mr. Prater replied that there would be temporary outages of one to two hours while lines were transferred,
Mr. Prater stated that no one would be forced to remove any tree, but the process may leave trees looking ugly. It might be better to remove a tree up front than have a tree that would be less attractive.
Mayor Hartfield committed that Village Council was in support of higher poles in order to save the trees and maintain a tree canopy.
Councilmember O'Keefe stated that with AEP trimming the trees and then the phone and cable companies also trimming the trees, the damage may be very severe. Would trimming information and phone numbers be available? Manager Stilwell indicated that information would be available on the AEP website and on pamphlets in Village Hall.
Vice Mayor Barsky stated that the best course of action would be a discussion with the property owner on a tree-by-tree basis, especially if the tree would be more than just crowned.
Manager Stilwell indicated that Village staff would again go door to door to discuss each resident's preference.
Mr. Prater advised that AEP would be out trimming trees in the Village during the first quarter of 2015. AEP was returning to a four-year trimming cycle. AEP intended to remove Ash trees that were endangering lines. Manager Stilwell indicated that AEP had funds to remove Ash trees. The Village hoped to take advantage of that funding to save homeowners and the Village the expense of removing those trees.
Vice Mayor Barsky expressed concern that AEP communicate with each property owner regarding the process. Communication was paramount. Vice Mayor Barsky also suggested that a conversation be generated with the other utilities.
Mr. Prater closed by saying that AEP would be happy to discuss and walk the area that evening to answer any questions or concerns
Councilmember Montgomery made a motion to adjourn. Second by Councilmember Johnson. Motion carried.