PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WNCT) – Proposals for tree trimming along Highway 58 in Pine Knoll Shores are raising concerns among residents and town officials.
Vegetation has grown thick near Carteret-Craven Electrical Cooperative, which wants to trim some of it back. But some Pine Knoll Shores residents aren’t happy about that.
The trimming would occur along the south side of Highway 58.
Pine Knoll Shores has a special board that oversees the protection of its trees.
“A lot (of people) moved here because of the trees and the environment and the lifestyle,” said Mayor Ken Jones. “So when you start cutting into the trees, it really changes the environment a lot and the lifestyle.”
The Carteret-Craven Electrical Cooperative said its necessary to trim the trees because they’re running up over power lines and creating a safety hazard for workers.
The cooperative’s communication director, Lisa Galizia, said crews “have to be able to get in and work on the lines and the equipment safely. And when there is vegetation around that’s close or into the lines, we’ve got to get that out of the way.”
Vegetation would be trimmed five feet on either side of the poles and 10 feet would be cut down from the lowest power line.
Many of the trees have been on the island for hundreds of years, so the town wants to take extra precautions to protect them.
“I think the vegetation, because it’s part of the maritime forest, is very important,” said Paul Pylko, who was lived in Pine Knoll Shores for 25 years. “But it’s also important to have reliable electricity. And part of what the co-op is going to have to do is trim it.
The co-op said it understand the importance of preserving the trees and will take precautions to not over trim.
The co-op said it hopes to have all trimming done by this spring.