The Helper City Council has repealed part of a four-year-old city ordinance that made homeowners responsible for keeping tree branches out of electrical transmission lines. A new ordinance adopted last Thursday limits property owners' responsibility only to the lines running from the power pole to their meter boxes.
Councilman Robert Bradley pushed for the revision, noting that people aren't qualified to work around high voltage lines and many of them can't afford to hire a tree-trimming service to do the job. Since the law also made property owners responsible for the cost of repairing tree-caused outages, it put an unreasonable burden on citizens, he added.
Bradley said that tree trimming along the city's transmission line rights-of-way is something the city can do, and any expense in "maintaining the integrity of the system" is cheaper for the city than power outages anyway. A transmission outage interrupts service to entire neighborhoods, and during that time the city loses revenue because of lost electricity sales as well as having to pay for repairs.