Germantown residents battle TVA over trees - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jamel Major

Germantown residents battle TVA over trees

Germantown homeowners say the Tennessee Valley Authority is cutting down their trees.

When Jeff and Dana Hay moved into their quiet Germantown home 3 years ago, they never imagined they'd be fighting to prevent crews from removing seven of their trees.

Pink ribbons mark trees the TVA wants to chop down because of safety concerns.

The Hays say losing those trees will prove detrimental to their property.

"There goes the value of our property. There goes our shade. There goes our landscaping," said Jeff Hay. "We were pretty devastated."

Stacey Ferguson, who lives next door to the Hays, says TVA told her crews would have to cut down her 30 foot tall oak tree because it's within 200 feet of a power line.

Ferguson is worried about erosion and flooding in her backyard.

"You remove that tree and the root system, and it means we may get involved in a great deal of expense," she said.

TVA says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can fine utilities up to a million dollars a day if rights of ways are not maintained.

TVA Spokesman Jim Allen said, "The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission mandates that TVA maintains and clears rights of ways of any trees that could cause hazard by damaging or breaking transmission lines, which may result in power supply failure."

But neighbors like Dana Hay aren't buying it. "The way that they have maintained this right of way in the past has been working. There has never been a significant problem along these lines with just having the trees trimmed, topped out or maintained."

And neighbors say they'll continue to fight until there is a solution or compromise. They're asking the Germantown mayor and legislators help save their trees.

Click here to e-mail Jamel Major.
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