Local News

Neighborhood Vine Entangled in Controversy

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - UPDATE: Xcel Energy called off the removal of the vine until further notice.


For more than 40 years, this plant has been a staple on Bookcliff Avenue. Jason Darien and his family dress-up the bush on Halloween and turn it into a Christmas tree in December. "It's a tradition for my family, my kids, the neighborhood, the neighborhood kids really look forward to it," said Darien. But the 15 foot plant is more than just decoration, with families of birds creating their nests inside.

Unfortunately, Xcel Energy is planning to remove the entire bush on Friday because they say it's a safety hazard. "The reason is because, it's presenting two really significant issues, a safety issue and a reliability issue," said Kelly Flenniken, Area Manager for Xcel Energy. Darien says, in the past, the energy company trims down the bush, but this time he feels his voice isn't being heard. "I told them they could trim it, you know, to where it was a safe level but they wanna take it all the way to the ground and I just don't think that's right," said Darien.

"We certainly understand and feel compassion for that homeowner, but again, the public safety and reliability are key for all of us," said Flenniken.

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