Fayetteville Alderman Objects On Social Media To Tree-Cutting Policy

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A Fayetteville alderman says he can “do something about” an electric company’s policy to cut down trees near power lines.

City councilmember Matthew Petty took to Facebook on Wednesday morning (Oct. 1), saying he watched Southwest Electric Power Company crews cut down a 60-foot pine tree. He said it was part of a new policy by the electric company to “delete” any tree within 15 feet of a power line.

“It makes me sick,” Petty said in the Facebook post. “And I can do something about it.”

Petty wrote that “around a dozen” cities in Arkansas run their own utilities, including Bentonville, Little Rock and Conway.

“Running their own utility allows these cities to implement more reasonable tree-trimming practices and conduct more robust energy efficiency programs,” Petty’s post states. “Fayetteville will be next.”

The Facebook post also states city-run utilities have other benefits, such as faster internet access.

SWEPCO spokesman Peter Main said the company looks forward to speaking with the alderman about his concerns.


  • Morgan

    Oh for the love of jesus, are you freaking kidding me? Petty is upset because a tree was cut down in front of his house so now Fayetteville is going to go into the utility business? And he can “do something about it”? Power trip much, Petty? Maybe instead of using your position on the council to push your own personal agenda you could maybe work on things that are the citizen’s agenda? Like a fully staffed fire department with equipment that isn’t outdated and past being due for retirement. Or perhaps figuring out how the parking deck project which you were a supporter of is running 77% over budget? You know, do your job. Better yet, resign and take the several other inept ineffectual aldermen with you.

  • joesumone

    Hey, Shain Bergan, why don’t you just go ahead and publish Alderman Petty’s address so the public can go see the evidence he cites as a call to action. By the way, OG&E did the same thing in Fort Smith without warning about a year and a half ago and they had good reason.

  • Honey Badger

    So this winter when the ice storm comes and this idiot’s power goes out I guess he will “do something about it”. I’m glad people like him are making decisions about how best to spend taxpayer dollars

  • Pat

    To nature lovers, we understand the necessity for trees. The birds and squirrels have nests, the tree provides shade in the hot summer, in winter their beauty retains the snow and is picturesque.
    Also there are the utilities. Water boards despise the roots in pipes, cable companies that lay underground cable don’t like roots, electric companies fear the winter with the ice storms that may come. It is a juggling act to decide the greater good. We know people who paid the big bucks and had tree movers move ten year old trees successfully. Then the utility company moved their lines again. 
    Are the trees preferable to the misery of lost power when a limb comes down? Or is living in a concrete jungle what we want in Fayetteville? The people, not the utility companies should decide in my opinion. 

  • Darin

    Trees are the biggest problem with power outages. That’s why power companies own the right of way under and over all of their power poles. They have the right to trim or cut down trees if they believe it will save a power outage later on down the line. I would be great if all power was underground but that won’t happen. The cost is too great.

  • Aaron

    If the utility companies were not so cheap they would bury the lines and not have to worry about it. I had the electric company that oversees rogers come can hack the hell out of my pecan tree. It was nowhere near the the electric line and was not in danger of getting there anytime soon. It is also very true that internet access is greatly imporved when cities take over running it. Cox internet and ATT are very slow and if you compare their speeds to the rest of the world you find we are way behing the times. 10 times slower for 3 times the price. Thats why you are paying $100+ for a service that should be $30 and faster.

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