New Hyde Park Double Poles Plan Outlined

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Last week, the New Hyde Park Village Board detailed its plan calling for hefty fines and penalties for double utility poles left standing by public utilities for an extended time period. The board did not officially adopt the plan, to await clarification from its village attorney Ben Truncale on if utility companies would be responsible for repairing curbs the poles sit on.

 

“The board finds it in the best of interest of New Hyde Park [to establish this],” Mayor Robert Lofaro said.

 

New Hyde Park has 88 double poles on village roads and one triple pole at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Covert Avenue, according to village public works Superintendent Tom Gannon.

 

“The pole [on Covert Avenue] had been damaged by a car accident,” Lofaro said. “The bottom of the pole is missing. It’s just broken wood at the bottom and that’s a major pedestrian crossing.”

 

Double poles would need to be removed no more than 30 days after work completion or face a $500 fine, according to New Hyde Park officials. A second $1,000 fine would be enforced every day the violation continues.

 

“The board finds and determines that public utility companies place poles to facilitate the delivery of electric, telephone, television and other telecommunications to the residents,”

Lofaro said. “Local governments have the authority to regulate their roads to protect the public.”

 

Village reps called the double poles “dangerous” and said that “public safety could be compromised” when utility lines are affixed to poles that are weathered or damaged.

 

“When a new utility pole is installed, a utility’s delay in removing lines and equipment from old poles also delays the removal of the pole itself,” Lofaro said.

 

The new law mirrors the Town of North Hempstead’s double poles rule. However, the town gives utilities 60 days for pole removal. The town law was adopted in August 2014.

 

New Hyde Park created its own law because North Hempstead’s code does not incorporate the village, Lofaro said. “We have our own home rule in [the village],” Lofaro stated.

 

North Hempstead adopted the plan because of negligence in removing poles from town streets. 

 

“Often the original pole is cracked, split or damaged and this can cause a safety hazard,” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said recently. “The utility companies cannot drag their feet when it comes to removing the old poles within a reasonable amount of time.”

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