Burr Ridge fights plan to cut down trees

September 3, 2008 2:53:54 PM PDT
One southwestern suburb is standing up for its trees.The village of Burr Ridge is fighting a Commonwealth Edison plan to trim or cut down hundreds of trees.

The mayor of Burr Ridge was told by ComEd of its plan to cut down more than 400 trees beginning September 10.

ComEd says it's all about providing good electric service to thousands of Burr Ridge residents and customers in surrounding suburbs.

The village of Burr Ridge plans to fight the ComEd plan.

Burr Ridge was named for its burr oak trees but, the western suburb is about to lose some of its burr oaks as wells as hundreds of others.

Along a two mile stretch, trees have been tagged for removal. ComEd has told the village it plans to chop the trees down in order to provide better service.

"One of the biggest impacts on safety and reliability is tree contact with our facilities. So we're constantly engaged in managing the vegetation in and around our facilities. That's the driving force behind what's going on in Burr Ridge," said Luis Diaz-Perez, ComEd Spokesman.

And the driving force to stop ComEd from bringing in the buzz saws is Burr Ridge mayor Gary Grasso.

"We cannot let that happen. Comed has offered us no plan, no rational basis to do this other than we're ComEd and we can do this and we're going to do it," said Mayor Gary Grasso, Burr Ridge.

But, ComEd says it does have a plan, but will not give details until it's presented to Mayor Grasso by the end of the week.

"We're working on a plan right now that will be submitted to the village shortly that we are confident will meet the needs of residents and the village as well as of the company," said Luis Diaz-Perez, ComEd Spokesman.

Grasso has support from several residents, especially those who live right next to the power lines and the tagged trees.

Joan Anderson has lived in Burr Ridge for 32 years.

"If they trim them, that's fine. Or if there's an ash over there that's got infected, they can take that out. But come on. We've been trying and trying and trying for years to get things to grow and be green," said Anderson.

Residents can't understand why the trees must go since they sit well below the power lines. But ComEd says its tree experts believe they are in the way.

Mayor Grasso believes ComEd wants to get rid of them to save money.

"They just don't want to spend the dollars maintaining their transmission lines. They want to just come in, decimate the village," said Grasso.

While September 10 is the scheduled target date to begin removing the trees, ComEd says as of now, the company plans to wait until ComEd officials meet with Mayor Grasso about their proposal.

The mayor says he is eager to listen. However, he will take legal action if need be.


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