Evidence for the need to control growth of vegetation along power line right-of-way is easy to see in many rural areas. Overgrown right-of-way can cause problems during severe weather and can make it difficult to reach trouble spots to make repairs.
In a continuing effort to control brush growth, Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative has hired contractors to cut and trim trees in the Pittsburg & Keosauqua substation areas. The Contractors will be performing maintenance trimming and mowing, removing re-growth vegetation, and clearing areas that may have been missed in previous years. The work will be done as an attempt to improve system reliability, provide a safer work environment, establish a more accessible right-of-way to the Cooperative’s facilities, and to maintain clearance of brush and tree limbs from the power lines. Generally, the contractors will be trimming up to 20 to 25 feet on each side of the pole centerline and removing any additional “danger” trees that may be a potential threat to the power lines. Yard trees will be reviewed separately and a determination will be made on the best course of action for those trees. The contractors will also be mowing and brush cutting underneath the power lines. In most cases, you should expect to see less vegetation cut and removed than in prior years, depending on the re-growth activity in your area. You should also expect delays on clean up work depending upon the weather conditions. For additional information give us a call at 800-607-2027.
The Contractors working in your area will make an attempt to contact all landowners, either personally, or with the use of a “door hanger” in advance of cutting in your area. If no response is given after a good faith effort to contact you, the Contractors will proceed with their trimming activities as required. Please respond if you are contacted by a Contractor or your Cooperative as soon as possible. Contractors are scheduled to begin working December 15, 2020 and throughout the 2021 calendar year. Any questions or concerns with Contractors in your area should be directed to the Cooperative.
Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative initiated an aggressive vegetation management program in 2008. Since its commencement, member/owners have experienced a significant reduction in the amount of power interruptions and outages caused by trees and brush. The effort required to perform necessary maintenance and repairs has also been significantly reduced while providing a safer environment for those of you working near our power lines. This includes SIEC employees who are available to serve you 24/7.
In 2021, our efforts to control brush will focus on the Belknap and Floris Substation areas, which will impact the SIEC right-of-way associated with your property if you are in these areas. The method of control being utilized will be an environmentally safe herbicide applied to right-of-way locations by Tom’s Tree Service from Albia, Iowa. They have successfully provided tree and brush management solutions to Southern Iowa Electric for a number of years in fulfillment of an awarded contract. Starting in late April, workers will begin spraying the herbicide which is absorbed by the foliage, is non-volatile, and is a non-phenoxy growth regulator. The application is designed to work on buds that will form next year’s leaves.
The Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative Board of Directors adopted a policy in August of 2015 that requires landowners who request to be placed on the “NO SPRAY” list, or who are currently on the list, to complete an agreement with SIEC and provide documentation that the property is legally recognized as a “Certified Organic Farm”. The establishment of this requirement is intended to protect prior vegetation management investments and to reduce any additional financial burden incurred by the membership. Tree trimming and brush mowing are more expensive vegetation management practices than spray applications. When spray applications are not used, the additional expense is shouldered by the entire membership making it more costly for SIEC to ensure reliable electric service throughout the distribution system. A letter and accompanying “Certified Organic Farm” agreement will be sent to each member currently on the SIEC “NO SPRAY” list as their respective substation is scheduled in the vegetation management rotation. If you receive a letter, please complete the agreement with the requested supporting documentation and return it to the Operations Dept. at Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative at your earliest convenience. If you are considering participating in organic farm practices and would like to be placed on the “NO SPRAY” list, stop by the SIEC office and speak with a member of our staff.
If you have questions or concerns in regards to the methods utilized in Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative’s brush management program, please contact our office at 1-800-607-2027.