Largo leaders pressuring utility, cable companies to trim trees

LARGO, Fla.-- The city of Largo is putting pressure on utility and cable companies to trim trees.

Largo leaders recently contacted companies like Spectrum, Frontier and WOW to trim trees in the utility easements in people’s yards. 

City commissioner Curtis Holmes’ own back yard has tree branches growing all over around the cables. Holmes, like many of his neighbors, is terrified to trim them himself or get them trimmed for fear he will damage the equipment or get electrocuted.  

After several inquiries from residents, Largo leaders started blasting off emails to utility/cable companies telling them to take care of the problem, which spans across Tampa Bay. 

Hurricane Irma brought to light the damage tree branches can cause to utility and power lines.

ABC Action News found out most cable companies are responsible for trees that are within a utility easement. However, most of the companies won’t come to fix the problem until there is an outage. Homeowners say that is outrageous and are urging companies to do more preventative maintenance to avoid future problems. 

Here’s the email Largo leaders sent to various cable/TV/phone companies in the Tampa Bay area:

“The recent hurricane has increased awareness among our residents of vegetation growing through, around and entangled within communications services cables on utility poles within their neighborhoods. Many of these poles are located in easements along the rear property lines of single family lots. The electric utility will periodically trim the vegetation that extends high enough to cause a danger to their lines, but does not trim the lower branches that affect the communications services cables. The recent hurricane reminded many of our residents of their reliance not only on electricity, but also reliable landline, internet and cable television service. They would like some assurance that measures are taken to increase the reliability of these services during storm events.”

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