By ROBERT ANKRAPP
For the Times-Herald
HEIGHTS – In response to a growing number of complaints from residents, Mayor Bill Bazzi is telling the utility and communications companies that serve the city: Get your spare poles out of our residents’ yards by the end of the year.
Throughout the city, residents are experiencing an inordinate number of unused utility poles left laying in and around their front and side yards. They include new poles that have yet to be installed, as well as older ones that have since been replaced by new poles – with some of these having been laying in the yards for months (and in some cases, over a year).
The absence of followup by the utility and communications companies has frustrated both Bazzi and City Council members.
“These poles are an inconvenience, they are an eyesore, and they present a safety risk for our residents.” Bazzi said. “So I’m making it clear to the utility and communications companies. They need to either install or remove these poles by Dec. 31. After Jan. 1, any poles still laying in our residents’ yards will be slated for cut-up and disposal by our public works crews. I will not allow our residents to be forced into using their yards as storage areas for unused poles.”
Residents who have had utility poles laying in their yards that have not been taken care of for an inordinate amount of time should contact the Mayor’s Office at 313-791-3490 to register a complaint. They will be asked to provide their name, address, the location of the pole on their property, any visible identifying marks or tags that may be on the pole, and the approximate length of time it has been lying in their yard.
If not claimed by a utility or communications company, the poles will be removed starting in January, and slated for cut-up, removal and disposal by the city’s public works crews.
“This is clearly not the way we would like to handle this issue, in light of the traditionally good relationship we have with the utility and communications companies that serve our community” Bazzi said. “However, this issue has gone on far too long with no response or results. It’s time we take some definitive action to get the problem solved on our residents’ behalf.”
Councilman Ray Muscat, who has long voiced his displeasure over the presence of the poles laying in city neighborhoods, added, “It’s time to take action on these eyesores. They have been laying abandoned in our neighborhoods for too long. It’s time for the utilities to take some responsibility and start removing them.”