Norway gets bill for damaged utility pole

NORWAY – The town has received a bill for $2,000 from FairPoint Communications for damage to a telephone pole while snowplowing on Thomas Hill Road.

Leslie H. Dixon/Sun Journal

A utility pole gouged by a town snowplow stands beside Thomas Hill Road off Route 117 in Norway. A new pole was installed next to it and FairPoint Communications sent the town a bill for $2,000 to cover the cost.

“This is the first time I've seen this,” Town Manager David Holt said. He said the bill has been turned over to the town's insurance company.

Holt told selectmen at their meeting last week that the wing of the snowplow gouged the pole near the base. The pole has been replaced and the damaged one remains.

Holt said the town grants the utility company the right to place their poles in the town's right of way. However, over the years the road may change, or other conditions change, and the poles should have been moved farther back.

“I have always felt they put them in at their own risk,” Holt said. "If it's not the way it's going to be then they ought to move them.”

FairPoint did not return calls for comment.

Central Maine Power spokesman John Carroll said the pole is a "telset," which means it's FairPoint's responsibility to reset it.

Carroll said CMP does not charge municipalities if they damage a pole.

Utility poles are owned by CMP or FairPoint, or in some cases owned jointly, he said. When they are jointly owned, routinely one of the utilities takes responsibility for removing or fixing it, he said.

Most of the utility poles in Norway are the responsibility of FairPoint Communications, Carroll said.

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MICHAEL FOX's picture

Looks old to me

That pole looks like it has been there a long time and was due to be replaced anyway. Hope Norway wins.


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