Another look at removing utility poles from “historic” Main St area; potential Special Town Meeting (Updated)

by beth on June 28, 2017

Post image for Another look at removing utility poles from “historic” Main St area; potential Special Town Meeting (Updated)

Above: This week, the Planning Board told David Parry there were too many unknowns for them to endorse the first step in his plan to move utility poles from a large section of Main Street. (image from SAM video)

This week, David Parry publicly presented his plan to revisit removing utility poles from historic Main Street. Parry told the Planning Board that it’s something Town Meeting voters should have a chance to decide.

The proponent has been seeking endorsements from groups like the Economic Development Committee before calling for a Special Town Meeting. He claimed to have 100% support from everyone he has approached (prior to Monday night). But he was unable to gain Planning’s endorsement.

Planning Members said there were too many unknowns for them to ask voters to pay $60,000 of Town funds for a design plan.

Parry explained the Town would need to pay about that to National Grid for them to study the request and come back with a design and cost estimates. Once the Town had those details, they could find out if voters were willing to pay to see the plan through.

Parry, a former Town official* who resides at 22 Main Street, has long lobbied for ridding the area of utility poles. It’s an expense that selectmen have rejected in the past with price tags in the range of $8 million for undergrounding utilities.

This time around, Parry stressed that his plan would relocate, not bury, utilities. (Though, one version of his plan proposes that “short” sections be undergrounded.) He said that would make the project costs much lower.

His updated plans would reroute utilities around the back of properties, avoiding poles from the Main Entrance of Fay School on Main to the intersection of Newton Street. On Monday night, Parry acknowledged that, if voters authorize it, National Grid would create its own plan which may be very different from his. But to demonstrate that it’s feasible to do, he walked the board through two versions of his plan. 

Parry claimed to have enthusiastic approval from owners of the few private properties that his plan would have poles cross through. And, he furthered that the Director of Fay School was so supportive of the plan that he offered allowing them to cross through the yard of either of the houses the school owns on Middle Road. 

David Parry's proposed utility pole relocation (1st presented diagram)

(click to enlarge)

Parry’s hand-drawn diagram proposed bringing utility poles from Boston Road behind Mauro’s Market to Park Street. (Red dots in the image right are the proposed path for “new poles”.)

Parry said coincidentally 20-100 massive dead trees are being cut down at Woodward: “it opens up the opportunity to put the lines on Woodward property and through the wood because the dead trees have been cut.” In other areas of his plan, Parry referred to the poles as disappearing in the trees.

Planning Member Meme Lutrell asked if National Grid would have an issue with utility poles in the trees, as they try to prune branches away from utilities. Parry didn’t directly address that. Instead, he responded that NGrid would be obligated to come up with a working plan for moving the utility poles if the Town solicits and pays for it. 

Acknowledging that some undergrounding was required by his plan, Parry said there may be a less expensive alternative. 

The proponent explained that he developed the maps below after Fay School’s Business Manager pointed him to a route that could avoid a problem area by the Burnett Cemetery. (He said that the east side of the project would remain the same as he previously presented. Changes are on the west side.)

David Parry's proposed utility pole relocation plan (Part A of 2nd diagram) David Parry's proposed utility pole relocation plan (Part B of 2nd diagram)

Parry assured the public that the plan would not slow down construction of Main Street. It would run in parallel. His plan was to convene a Special Town Meeting to get the design funds. He didn’t specify when – but his intent was to have results back in time to bring to Annual Town Meeting next April.

Parry encouraged anyone interested in plan details to attend the next meeting of the Main Street Design Working Group. He intends to present his plan there and get feedback from the Town’s engineering consultants. That is currently scheduled for July 11th, 7:00 pm at Cordaville Hall, 9 Cordaville Rd.

(Until then, you can click here to see his presentation to Planning.)

*Parry is a former member of the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board among other committees.

Updated (6/29/17 8:06 am): David Parry asked me to share updated versions of his maps above. (I’m also leaving the originals in as they were the ones he is referring to if you watch the Planning Board meeting from Monday night.) His updated versions are below:

Parry revised Plan 1 (as of 06/28/17) Parry revised Plan 2 - top half (as of 06/28/17) Parry revised Plan 2 - bottom half (as of 06/28/17)

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 A fool's erand June 28, 2017 at 5:02 PM

Mr. Parry lives on Main Street and wants the pole in front of his home taken down. He has been on this crusade for many years.

PLEASE don’t spend a dime of our tax money on this. Mr. Parry wants the town to authorize spending $60,000 of our tax dollars to fund a study by Verizon just to find out what it would cost to move the poles.

Yes – that is $60,000 just to do an engineering estimate to some up with a total cost which Mr. Parry has told people might be $12,000,000.

I wish Mr. Parry all the best but I don’t want one dime of my tax money spent on this project.

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2 beth June 29, 2017 at 8:10 AM

The $12 million was an estimate for burying the lines underground from Sears to Park St.

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3 David parry June 28, 2017 at 6:06 PM

Thanks for the news coverage. vecnew

I hope that our Editor, Beth Melo, can replace the links to the two diagrams , with NEW DIAGRAMS which I prepared today. The two diagrams of Plan 1 and Plan 2, discussed on the video of the meeting, cannot be seen clearly. Another problem is that the red laser pointer is not picked up by the video camera.

The two NEW diagrams use the same color coding, and give more notations …to make them more undertstandable.

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4 Louise Barron June 29, 2017 at 9:28 AM

No “mo’ money. When does this end. We’re hemmorrhing. Now $60,000 for a study. I’ll give you something to study, and it won’t be utility poles. Wake up Sobo. ENOUGH is enough.

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5 Alan June 29, 2017 at 12:55 PM

My Parry’s front yard will look very nice after this project is passed.

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6 Julie Connelly June 30, 2017 at 3:05 PM

I commend Mr. Parry’s efforts to revisit this issue. We certainly need to be judicious with our tax dollars, but if Mr. Parry has found a way to potentially gain some of the benefits of undergrounding our utilities at a more manageable price tag, I think we should at a minimum hear what he has to say and do further investigation to see if it is a viable and economically feasible option. Also, when considering taking action, we need to balance short-term fiscal discipline with long-term effects and costs of maintaining the status quo. The risks posed by increasingly erratic weather, the cost of tree-trimming, and the fact that the powerlines are antiquated tehcnology should be considered in conjunction with the price tag, not to mention the “soft” benefits of improving aesthetics and investing in modern infrastructure. I’m no expert, and I don’t know what the right answer is, but I don’t think it benefits anyone to yell no and block their ears without knowing all the facts.

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7 Anonymous July 3, 2017 at 1:02 PM

I bet the NGrid trucks will look great in his BACK yard, too! Especially once the lines are compromised by a downed limb or another ice storm. Has he considered how much of a right of way the Grid would require if they were even to entertain this idea? Give me a break!

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8 J. David July 5, 2017 at 7:35 AM

Not only National Grid trucks, but Verizon AND Charter trucks too!

The utility poles along all throughout “historic”(???????) Southborough are actually owned by Verizon. They carry electric wires at 13,800 volts and 220 volts (National Grid), copper telephone lines (Verizon) and cable TV cables (Verizon and Charter).

Can you imagine one (or in some cases all) of the aforementioned utility trucks trying to snake their way thought the backyards along Main street after a one foot plus snowfall; with the weight of the freshly-fallen snow causing a tree to fall down taking all of the wires down and breaking one or two poles in said backyards, resulting in a town-wide power loss??

Every time you see a broken utility pole, how many trucks do you see installing a new one? I have seen a few and this is what I come up with: one to dig for the new pole while another one holds the new pole up, one or two National Grid trucks to re-string their wires, one or two to re-string the Verizon wires, and one for the Charter cable. Will they all fit in your back yard? In the middle of winter?

While I applaud Mr. Parry in trying to beautiful Main Street (and his property values), the scene mentioned above is very realistic during winter and in fact summer thunderstorms. Take a look at what happened on the Route 30 causeway last summer during a storm when the winds toppled about a dozen poles into the reservoir. The road was impacted for a few days and power was out for a long time. And those poles were easy to access right from a public street.

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9 Asan Leung July 3, 2017 at 4:15 PM

If I remember correctly, Mr. Parry and the Main Street residents fiercely opposed the Town’s original plan to renovate the Main Street with State money. Not sure if that plan includes the removal of utility poles? If Mr. Parry and the residents don’t want the road widened and modernized with state Money, it would be hard for the rest of town residents to fork out local tax dollar for “historic” Main Street resident’s utility safety unless the town have a plan to bury all the lines under ground. We all lost power when the storm comes and Southborough is a “historic” town in a whole.

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10 David Parry July 3, 2017 at 11:35 PM

The pessimists and naysayers on this “board” are certainly having a field day. It’s enough to make anyone give up in exasperation, which I suppose is their aim. But they will have no luck with me. It simply makes me more determined than ever to get the facts out. I am now working on Plan 3, and I am looking forward to a more positive reception from the professional members on the Main Street Working Group, who I sincerely believe do actually have this Town’s interest at heart. I trust them to do the right thing.

If we do nothing about this situation, now, then what?

When we are all dead and gone, and a future Town Meeting is in progress, 42 years in the future, in year 2060 (which is about the length of time I have lived in town) — when that future generation looks back at our generation, then what will they say? I think they are quite likely to say something like this, in a tone of quiet exasperation:

THE FUTURE CONVERSATION IN 2060:

“What were they thinking back in 2017 ? It’s puzzling. Did you read the updated history of the Town? On the one hand they were quite progressive and saved the golf course. But on the other hand, they got all that money from the State with the idea of totally reconstructing Main St. But what did they do with it? Now the traffic is worse then ever, Route 9 is at a total standstill, and our Main Street needs serious repair and resurfacing. The irony is that we STILL have this continuing blight from the ugly poles and defunct cables, and nobody has yet thought up a way of getting of them, because the utility companies will charge us an arm and a leg. ”

“What puzzles me is this: I cannot for the life of me figure out why those resiidents back in 2017 seemed totally oblivious of the fact that they had a unique opportunity to do something significant back then.They could easily have taken advantage of the massive disruption they KNEW was coming down the pike at them, from the reconstruction of 1.5 miles of Main St — which took them over 2 years to finish. Did you read about that ? Very interesting. WHAT A MESS THAT WAS, BACK IN 2018, 2019. So many local businesses couldn’t survive because their local clients stayed away, preferring to go to stores in other towns.”

” Yet our forefathers did absolutely NOTHING to remove the poles and wires. They left that 19th century technology up in the air, so that it continues to mire our downtown even today, all these many decades after. It is really quite remarkable. During that time, most other towns around us have bit the bullet and got rid of them. I read that even that tiny town of Holden got rid of them as far back as 2005, that is 55 years ago, for heaven’s sake. They must have strong leadership in that small town. Good for them. ”

“The saddest thing is that it has taken us all this time to realize the obvious.Our parents generation was so worn out by arguments , pro and con, about widening the Main Street and the Rte 85 intersection, that they simply overlooked the issue of removing the poles and wires. They were just plain worn out and sick of arguments and the derision hurled at them, and fearful of taking controversial action to remove the poles and wires, in order to beautify the downtown street and attract new businesses and investment. That was why our downtown lost out on all the revitalization which typically comes about when towns make a sincere effort at cleaning up and beautifying their downtown streets.”

” And you know what, that vacant lot on the corner of East Main and Newton St was vacant back then too. But at least Southborough Medical is booming, further down Newton Street. They were very smart. They knew to stay out of the Main St issues. By the way, have you seen all the senior housing and elder care facilities the’ve built up there ! It’ss really quite remarkable. What a fantastic project.that is. I’ve booked myself a unit in ten years time, when I am going to be 80. If it wasn’t for those old timers walking the half mile to our tiny downtown and buying odds and ends, I doubt we would have any businesses left at all on Main Street. ”

“Now here we are, at Town Meeting in 2060, 42 years later, and those residents who voted in 2017 are mostly all dead. It’s sad. But the saddest part of it is that WE have to live with their mistakes and their total lack of action. Now, for God’s sake, WE are going to have to bite the bullet and get rid of the poles and wires, during the major repairs we are facing next year. But it is going to cost us very dearly, because we have no leverage with National Grid, and we have no alternative route, and we cannot afford undergrounding. Same old situation as back in 2017. ”

“What I don’t understand is why the heck didn’t they get rid of the poles when they actually had a plan to move them, to behind the buildings instead of in front along the
Main Street. It seems so obvious in hindsight. And inexpensive. And they even had those conceptual agreements from property owners and from St Marks and Fay School, to provide easements — and that was before the whole street was dug up and all traffic stopped dead. What the heck were they thinking ? ”

“Well, on second thoughts, that was a stupid remark of mine. What I should have said is this — Why the heck were they NOT THINKING. — What a bunch of do-nothings. And, to make matters even more embarrassing, back then Southborough was the richest town in Worcester County. Not anymore. Now look at us. Very little business growth, hardly any industry, the former EMC site is still vacant, Too much traffic congestion on Rte 9.. O yeah, I almost forgot, those endless lawsuits about all the condos proposed for Park Central, up near 9 and 495 started back in the old days. Talk about arguments. Rte 9 is just is blocked solid,, and Main Street too. So now our once vaunted location is no longer an attraction. Rt 9 is just a pain in the ass. Our location is no longer a positive. Nobody can drive through here anymore, even if they wanted to.”

“There’s nothing new to see anyway. Nothing’s happened downtown. All we really have is our golf course (thank God they put that Conservation Restriction into the deed, preventing it from being split up and sold off in pieces.) ”

“Just take a look at all the towns around us. How come they have such attractive downtowns? Its bloody obvious, of course. They are all light years ahead of us because they all bit the bullet. . Well, all I can say is — don’t let us repeat the mistakes of our parents generation. Because they blew it. “

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11 Alan July 4, 2017 at 9:34 AM

WHAT?

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12 Southviller July 5, 2017 at 9:24 AM

^ I agree with Alan

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13 Frank Crowell July 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Who is to say we will need power lines in the future. Some future technology could be so cheap that every house has its own power.

Future generations will be unhappy with us with debt we are/will be leaving behind more so then any utility pole left standing.

Our town industry is educational non-profits, preserving land, keeping buildings we do not need (building a few more), and spending our grand kids money.

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14 JIM FOLEY July 5, 2017 at 11:08 AM

I kind of like the poles, They offer a place to hang the street lights and the flags.If the power was put behind the houses i think that would be the end of street lights.

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15 Jim July 5, 2017 at 8:50 PM

Excellent point about the street lights. I too want to keep them.

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16 Gary D. July 5, 2017 at 11:22 PM

The cost of putting telephone poles underground would be ridiculously expensive. Putting telephone poles behind houses is an odd thing to present. So it ain’t gonna happen. Move on to bigger and better things.

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17 Al Hamilton July 6, 2017 at 7:13 AM

This is about priorities and facing reality.

1. Southborough’s “Downtown” moved a long time ago. The area along Rt 30 within a few hundred yards of the RR crossing had not been “Downtown” for a long time. “Town Center” area sees far more commercial and retail activity as does the mini mall on Rt. 9. Hiding utility lines or the Rt. 30 improvement process is not going to bring it back, it moved to areas with better parking and more choices. I have nothing against the businesses along Rt 30 and wish them well but I don’t think we are going to see significant commercial or retail expansion in this area.

2. I think the more likely scenario for significant parts of Rt 30 from 85 to the RR tracks is that St. Marks will continue the slow purchase of properties as they come available.

3. This is about priorities. If the residents who will benefit from this project are willing to bear some form of Special Assessment to pay for the costs of the project then go ahead. But if you want the whole town to pay for any part of it the question must be asked: “Is this the highest and best use of public funds”. My neighborhood, for example does not have a water line or fire hydrants (and we are a long way from the Fire Station). Wouldn’t improvements to our public safety and public health infrastructure be a more pressing need? What about more funding for a public health nurse to assist our senior community. What about full day kindergarten?

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18 Matthew July 6, 2017 at 10:54 AM

I support burying the lines!
As long as the plan includes a tax assessment of all properties obviously benefiting from the effort. Anyone care to do the math to see how much Dave’s taxes will go up?

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19 Main Street Resident July 7, 2017 at 9:47 AM

Wow! Mr Parry will be hailed a hero in 2060! I know this because he said so in that babbling diatribe about how he saved his “historical” Main Street frontage from those dastardly “historical” telephone poles. I mean, they’ve been there the entire time, after all… perhaps we need a committee to save historical telephone poles from those that wish to destroy them!

All kidding aside, our money is for the greater good of the Town. Would buried lines be the best solution? Absolutely, in my opinion. But it’s expensive. However, nice things cost money. Southborough is a really nice place. Invest in it. I’m also of the adage “buy once, cry once.” Just do it all at once, bury the lines, and re-work Main Street to something that makes sense. Put in nice sidewalks with granite curbing and nice street lights (see downtown Westboro) and be done with it for a LONG LONG time. Hell, that even plays into Parrys view of 2060… our successors will praise our generation for doing the right thing and not sticking them with our problems or whatever millennial mentality Mr Parry had envisioned for 2060.

Anyway. Put this matter to bed, Southborough, and focus on matters that should actually be debated. (Park central seems to need some attention) Main Street needs to be re-vamped. Period. Just do it once and do it right and stop whining about it. Besides, “everyone is doing it…”

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20 David Parry July 9, 2017 at 11:59 AM

Unfortunately you are right in concept, but what you call for is impossible. There is a huge misunderstanding held by the majority of residents about this. Undergrounding is now IMPOPSSIBLE.

You call for doing the entire street design “right”, even if it costs more, which it will. And you call for doing that now rather than waiting so that we don’t pass our problems on to future generations. . And to do that, you suggest we “bury the lines” underground, (which I call “undergrounding”).

You have a sensible idea, but unfortunately that idea was rejected by the Bd of Selectmen, back some 8 plus years ago. It was never put to a vote, because it was going to cost upwards of $12 million — far more than the cost of the actual street itself, which was going to be paid for by the State. Undergrounding would have to be paid for by us, the Town. Just as hundreds of other towns have paid for it, typically by increasing their electric bills by a tiny fraction for 20 years.

Now, today, UNDERGROUNDING IS IMPOSSIBLE …. UNLESS …. unless you want to stop the project for years, redesign it, after you succeed in getting funding approved at Town Meeting, and then you go to the back of the long queue, waiting for limited State funding of road projects, competing against other towns. Obviously that is not going to happen. It is too late.

The debate and decision about undergrounding is over, even though it never really took place, did it? It was brushed aside, partly because of the high cost, but also because of the huge controversy over the design of the street itself — such as the appropriateness of the design to a small town like Southborough, and some people thought the intersection of Main and 85 was far to big and intrusive, and many people objected to the very purpose of the reconstruction —- intended by the State to funnel more commuter traffic through our town center, etc. . That controversy over the street design was finally resolved through creation of the Main Street Working Group, a committee made up of 9 residents, who took over directing the design from DPW and the engineering consultants VHB. That Group tamed it as much as they could —given the constraints of the State funding — namely that they could NOT turn this project into a “beautification” project — state funding is strictly limited to traffic improvements, period. Want anything nice looking ? Anything extra ? We pay for it.

So today, the project is 99% completed, and it will go out to bid this Fall, and it will start construction next Spring 2018, hopefully. There will be no undergrounding, from one end to the other.

The ONLY thing we can do about the utility poles and wires NOW and in future is to find another solution (other than undergrounding) — and the ONLY solution is to create a new utility pole trunk route, NOT along Main St, but away from Main St. — typically, as in hundreds of other towns , in back alleys or in back of buildings, rather than in front .

Please note that this does NOT mean that each building gets a big, ugly, new pole in their back yard – No !. It means a line of new poles usually on public land in back, and a wire from those poles to the buildings fronting onto Main St, and only your small wires go over your lot. Actually, only four (4) lots need have the utility poles, to get the route we need, and the owners of those four lots have all agreed to provide an easement, for free, to the Town, because they support beautifying Main St.

There is a NEW REPORT on this proposal, available NOW. If you want it, please send me an e mail : parrydavidw@aol.com .

The review meeting is on this Tuesday, July 11, at 7 pm, at Cordaville Hall. Watch it on TV or come along and express your opinion.

Thank you.

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21 David Parry July 13, 2017 at 3:26 AM

SOUTHBOROUGH HAS A SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE over other towns, because we can provide Verizon with a huge financial incentive to move faster on the design and implementation of a new pole system.

Verizon is the utility company which is responsible for moving or installing utility poles, in both the following situations:

(1) Moving the poles just a few feet (as required in the official Street Reconstruction Plan, where all the existing poles are left, in almost the same place, but not quite the same place, all along Main St, but always moved just a little — to meet State street design rules).

and (2) Installing an entirely new line of poles, far away from Main St (as in the proposed route away from Main Street, behind buildings).

By law, Verizon must pay for 50% of the cost of moving existing poles, when that is required as part of an official State Plan. Southborough’s “Main Street Reconstruction Plan” is a case in point — it is “official”, so Verizon must pay 50% of the cost of moving each and every old pole.

This cost may be very large — into the hundreds of thousands..

This expenditure by Verizon can be entirely avoided IF Verizon is able to leave the existing poles where they are, untouched jjand NOT move them at all. Then , after installing the new line of poles away from Main Street, Verizon can remove the old street poles entirely and permanently.

Now , this could be the basis for a negotiation between Southborough and Verizon as to how fast they are prepared to design the new system, away from Main Street. The faster the better for both parties. Nobody wants a new street with old poles in the wrong place. The way to avoid that is to install the new pole alignment fast, now.

Why would Verizon want to spend a huge amount of money on a futile , short term movement of old poles ?. The answer is quite simple — they DON’T— but they will have to if we don’t get out act together, fast. This amounts to a DISGRACEFUL WASTE OF MONEY, SOMETHING to be EMBARRASSED ABOUT. Our Government should not allow such things to happen. It is almost tantamount to fraud and waste.

As Marty Healey said it best at the July 11 meeting:. “You know, when the new street has been finished it might actually look quite nice, except for one glaring thing — the ugly old poles and wires.” And if those poles are still there, then the biggest iron is that they will have cost Verizon probably over a million dollars, just to move them a few inches.

This whole situation is one of waste caused by gross inaction. It calls out for responsible action, now. Maybe the Inspector General should be called in to review the level of incompetence.

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22 David Parry July 13, 2017 at 3:29 AM

SOUTHBOROUGH HAS A SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE over other towns, because we can provide Verizon with a huge financial incentive to move faster on the design and implementation of a new pole system.

Verizon is the utility company which is responsible for moving or installing utility poles, in both the following situations:

(1) Moving the poles just a few feet (as required in the official Street Reconstruction Plan, where all the existing poles are left, in almost the same place, but not quite the same place, all along Main St, but always moved just a little — to meet State street design rules).

and (2) Installing an entirely new line of poles, far away from Main St (as in the proposed route away from Main Street, behind buildings).

By law, Verizon must pay for 50% of the cost of moving existing poles, when that is required as part of an official State Plan. Southborough’s “Main Street Reconstruction Plan” is a case in point — it is “official”, so Verizon must pay 50% of the cost of moving each and every old pole.

This cost may be very large — into the hundreds of thousands..

This expenditure by Verizon can be entirely avoided IF Verizon is able to leave the existing poles where they are, untouched jjand NOT move them at all. Then , after installing the new line of poles away from Main Street, Verizon can remove the old street poles entirely and permanently.

Now , this could be the basis for a negotiation between Southborough and Verizon as to how fast they are prepared to design the new system, away from Main Street. The faster the better for both parties. Nobody wants a new street with old poles in the wrong place. The way to avoid that is to install the new pole alignment fast, now.

Why would Verizon want to spend a huge amount of money on a futile , short term movement of old poles ?. The answer is quite simple — they DON’T— but they will have to if we don’t get out act together, fast. This amounts to a DISGRACEFUL WASTE OF MONEY, SOMETHING to be EMBARRASSED about. Our Government should not allow such things to happen. It is almost tantamount to fraud and waste.

As Marty Healey said it best at the July 11 meeting:. “You know, when the new street has been finished it might actually look quite nice, except for one glaring thing — the ugly old poles and wires.” And if those poles are still there, then one of the many irnies the biggest ironies will be that they will have cost Verizon probably over a million dollars, just to move them a few inches.

This whole situation calls out for responsible action, now.

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23 Cindy Foster July 16, 2017 at 7:42 PM

Because Mr. Parry missed the first ½ hour of the 7/11 Main Street meeting, he also missed the project update and findings from Karen Galligan and VHB . The update included information from Verizon on some of the up-front costs, steps, and timing that would be necessary to move the utility poles off of Main Street.
The Main Street group made it very clear that the Main Street project cannot be delayed. The project has to be completely buttoned up by December. The principal remaining items are completing the easements and the final bid plans. The project goes out to bid in December. Main Street construction is scheduled to start in the Spring.
Right now a pole relocation proposal is a series of sketches and a quick look by VHB to see if there is feasibility. While it looks like it could be feasible there are many steps. There needs to be education and understanding of how each affected home/land owner would be affected. There needs to be design/engineering of the idea. Actual cost needs to be identified. Easements need to be worked out. If pole relocation is supported by the residents, the funding needs to be determined. While the TIP project will pay for the poles to be relocated a few feet on the Main Street project, the Town (not Verizon, not the State) would bear the cost for moving the poles off the street. If borrowing is required, there needs to be a ballot question in addition to Town Meeting approval. In short, there is absolutely no realistic possibility of these steps being completed in time for the pole relocation idea to run with the Main Street project.
Mr. Parry accuses the Utilities and Town Departments of inaction and financial irresponsibility. I’m writing to let people know that Mr. Parry’s views do not always reflect established facts. At this time, the residents of Southborough do not have enough information to decide whether or not to support moving utility poles off Main Street. I believe that residents should educate themselves before backing Mr. Parry’s proposal.

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