To Trim or not to trim? Neighbors dispute powerlines in Commerce Township

A neighborly dispute over power lines has been escalated as DTE and FOX 2 Problem Solvers are called in to lend a hand.

The two Commerce Township neighbors are battling over the lines. Paul Francis wants them taken down but the neighbor, who actually owns the property where the trees are, isn't having it. But Francis says it's not about whether it should be trimmed - he says it's a safety problem.

"Safety is first, they have three kids there," Francis said. "We have grandchildren that play in the yard, I'm concerned about the powerline from the pole to my house.

Francis has lived on Ellisia for almost 50 years and is concerned that these live power lines could snap and fall if there's a bad storm.

Out of safety, he called DTE. They sent out supervsiors and says they're working on it.

The trees, however, are on a neighbors property. He's talked to him about it before but says he doesn't want them trimmed back.

"At that time, he said he didn't want his trees trimmed. So that's the only statement I've received from him. They're his trees and he doesn't want them trimmed," Francis said.

The neighbor didn't answer the door when FOX 2's Camille Amiri knocked.

We contacted DTE media relations about the matter. They released this statement:

"DTE Energy follows national standards for utility tree trimming as part of its efforts to ensure safety and improve reliability for customers. We are working with the homeowner and will follow our normal process to determine the tree work that will be done on his property."

Francis wants DTE to come out and mediate the situation.

"I feel they should come over and discuss that with me or with the neighbor or both of us and see if we can come to some type of agreement to get these trees trimmed," Francis said.

Above all, he says, it comes down to one thing: safety.

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