City needs long-term plan for lines

Published 8:57 am Thursday, May 1, 2008

Better communication might cut through the forest of aggravation that’s grown out of Entergy’s tree-cutting work in Natchez.

On one side residents — the most vocal of which are downtown residents — are upset when they look up and see their formerly beautiful trees hacked up and cut into strange shapes.

Those residents — and residents in areas not in downtown who are upset over the same issue — have every right to be upset, especially if they received no warning and had no voice in when and how the trees were trimmed.

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On the other side, Entergy electrical power company and their subcontractor are trying to do what’s right for the customers — keep power lines clear of tree limbs which can easily knock out power service.

Both sides have good intentions, and we’d have hoped that better communication could have fostered a more cooperative spirit between Entergy’s customers and the company’s desire to keep the juices flowing.

This aggravation and anger occurs almost without fail each time the company comes in and has the tree limbs trimmed from near the power lines.

The ultimate solution to this is simple — but expensive. The City of Natchez needs to begin working with Entergy to get power lines relocated to beneath the ground. Underground utility relocation needs to be in our comprehensive plan.

Sure, it will be expensive.

Sure it will be a pain.

Sure it will take time and cooperation.

But it’s the only way to truly make our neighborhoods — particularly the historic ones that draw tourists — as beautiful as possible.

The beautify canopy of trees overhead may be taken for granted by some people, but they’re nearly as important as the electrical power customers who live, work and pay taxes beneath the shade of those trees, or what’s left of it.