Residents Upset Over Duke Power Spraying Policy
Spruce Pine resident David Wheeler, like other area residents, is not happy about Duke Power’s new method of controlling vegetation along its miles of power lines in the county. Vegetation was traditionally mowed along the power company’s right of ways in the county up until Duke Energy bought out Progress Energy last year. Duke has switched to spraying the areas with herbicides leaving dead growth among some scenic roads while raising health concerns for residents. Herbicide spraying has been used for several years according to a Duke Power spokes person who explained that customers can designate their properties as a “no-spray zone”, but added that these contracts are not legally binding. Mitchell County Commissioners have been assured by Duke Power officials that the herbicides used are harmless to people and the environment. Company representatives are tentatively scheduled to give a presentation at the next commissioner’s meeting set for October 7 at 6 p.m.