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Board: Trees on Netherwood to come down | Business

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Board: Trees on Netherwood to come down
Board: Trees on Netherwood to come down

The decision comes after much discussion between the board, Netherwood Road neighbors and Alliant Energy representatives over the last few weeks, including several town hearings on the issue. Board Chairman Darryl Weber said at times it was a contentious issue, as many residents and some board members were pushing to save the trees.

“I understood where the neighborhood was coming from trying to save the trees,” Weber said. “I felt that the town board went above and beyond the call of duty and got all the options out there to discuss and weigh them best we could.”

Scott Reigstad, spokesman for Alliant Energy, said the company had scheduled to upgrade the more than 70-year-old power line due to modern power needs in the area. He said the upgrade will build a new feeder line from the Sun Valley Substation on County Road D in the town to Fish Hatchery Road and Netherwood Road, replacing older power lines with more reliable newer lines that have a higher capacity.

Reigstad said the company looked into options that would keep the trees rooted in their some-100-year-old spots after residents protested cutting them down. Alliant brought in its staff arborist to evaluate the trees and found only two were healthy and the rest showed signs of decay and had lived up to their life expectancy.

Risks of keeping the trees included the unhealthy trees falling and taking power lines with them and would require a cost-prohibitive underground line, Weber said Friday.

Weber said the decision came down to practicality and safety.

“Less power is not an option,” Weber said. “I don’t want any of our residents to be out of power in five-below weather.”

Reigstad said the $300,000 project is slated to begin the first week of March and take about two months to finish. He also said the company plans to replace the trees it is removing with lower-growth trees.

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