Man fighting to keep utility company from cutting down large tre - WNEM TV 5

Man fighting to keep utility company from cutting down large trees

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Todd Booth loves his backyard. He says it is one of the things that attracted him to this home in Midland.

For him, it is his own little slice of heaven.

“We're low income. We can't afford to go on cruises and vacations like that so we stay at home. We have to make the best of what we have and what we have is a nice burn pit with a patio and a nice beautiful oak tree that shades it all in and makes this property what it is,” Booth said.

So, when he was told recently that the power company that owns the lines behind his home wanted to chop down that oak tree and several other trees, he couldn't believe it.

“My trees are not dead by any means. Just because it could happen in two to five years that my trees could cause a problem they're gonna’ chop it down right now?"

Booth said ITC Transmissions told him the trees in his yard have grown too close to the power lines but booth said his trees aren't causing any problems and chopping them down just isn't right.

"Anything is possible two to five years from now. That's like saying getting in your car and going down the road. Well it's possible you can get into an accident so maybe I shouldn't get in my car. That makes no sense to me,” Booth said.

In a statement sent to TV5, Kelly Fulford with ITC said the company has the authority and does regularly remove trees and other obstructions to prevent power outages.

That offers little comfort to Booth who says his trees make a cool shady hang out for his family and replacing them won't be easy.

"I can't afford new trees. I can't afford new trees and put them in the ground when I already have good existing trees,” Booth said.

ITC said cutting the trees down now is a preventative measure, and again, they do have the authority to remove objects within 100 feet of their lines.

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