No One To Blame For Dead Trees - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/13/03

No One To Blame For Dead Trees

It's never an easy situation when you have a dispute with a utility company, emotions on both sides can be elevated. One man from Gulfport said by sharing his story, it will promote change.

"Well they were pretty nice pine trees at one time, and we left them here for the aesthetic value," Jerry Voss said.

Construction company owner Jerry Voss came out of retirement two years ago to build houses. He's upset with the power company because two of his new homes on 44th avenue in Gulfport have dead pine trees in the front yards.

"They cut so close to the tree that they cut the roots and killed them," Voss said.

Underground electrical cabling to the meters, Voss said, killed the trees.

"The cable went underground and probably within 24 inches of the tree, and just how deep, I'm not sure. I think it's around 30 inches," Voss said.

"We really took a look at what had happened between our operation with the trenching and what else had been going on with that construction site, and just from what probably had gone on, we were not responsible for killing the tree," Kurt Brautigam of Mississippi Power Company said.

Mississippi power believes that the heavy machinery compacted the soil, and other factors, such as newly poured concrete sidewalks were to blame. As a favor, the power company volunteered to shear the trees to make them easier for removal.

"We would ask all of our customers to just contact us so that we can work things out, we're here in a business to serve our customers. So that's exactly what we try to do and what we want to do," Brautigam said.

"We work together with the power company pretty good and they've got some great employees, but what happened here to me is just disillusion with a corporation that can walk off and leave something like this for someone to clean up," Voss said.

If you have a comment or question with Mississippi Power, call toll free at 1-800-353-9777.

By Nathan Mihelich

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