Paving means poles have to move
by Nathan Arneal
As the city prepares to resurface 11th Street from Main St. to the city park, it has turned its attention to the power poles along the street.
Jon Mooberry of JEO Consulting, the city’s engineering firm, briefed the council on the situation.
The poles are currently right next to the curb, but new regulations require all poles to be placed at least six feet away from the curb. The problem is the city only owns four feet of right of away.
Mooberry said in talking with the Omaha Public Power District, which owns the power poles, that OPPD feels it is the city’s responsibility to acquire the additional land to meet the setback requirements for the poles.
Mayor Jeff Kluthe disagreed, saying the new street will be the same size, so the road is not forcing the relocation of the poles, the new regulations are.
“Since we’re not changing the width of the street, why would we have anything to do with that?” Kluthe said. “It’s their poles. They’re making money on it. They need to put them where the law says.”
Mooberry said he conveyed that stance to OPPD. The power company will cover the cost of relocating the poles, but it said the cost of acquiring easements from the property owners is the city’s.
There is a possibility that the poles could be placed less than six feet away from the curb, but to do that a cost-benefit analysis would have to be performed. Mooberry estimated the analysis would cost between $3,500 and $5,000. He offered the option to OPPD, but he said they wouldn’t pay for it.
“If they’re going to just move them in six foot, it’s no big deal,” Bosco said. “I don’t want one in the middle of the yard, but out by the sidewalk? So what?”
Plans will be submitted to the city for approve by April 18 with bidding to begin in May, Moosberry said. If the power pole situation on 11th Street is not resolved by then, it may have to be broken into a separate project.
In other city business:
• The council hired the staff for the city pool. Molly Schiermeyer will be the manager with Callie Winkelman, Derrick Sheppard and James Seymour as assistants.
Pool rates were set at $100 for a family pass, $45 for an individual pass and $3 for a daily pass. Opening day was set for May 26.
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