Town of Thompson, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Thompson as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 211.
[Adopted 10-3-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017]
A. 
The Town Board hereby finds and determines that public utility companies place poles on Town of Thompson highways, streets, roads, rights-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town to facilitate the delivery of electric, telephone, cable television, and other telecommunications services to the residents of the Town of Thompson.
B. 
The Town Board finds and determines that local governments have the authority to regulate their highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to protect the public.
C. 
The Town Board finds and determines that utility poles are damaged from time to time.
D. 
The Town Board finds and determines that public safety can be compromised when utility lines and equipment remain affixed to utility poles that are weathered or otherwise damaged.
E. 
The Town Board finds and determines that when a new pole is installed, a utility's delay in removing lines and equipment from the old pole also delays the removal of the pole itself, which causes a proliferation of aesthetically unpleasant double poles along highways, streets, roads, and rights-of-way, as well as obstructing the paths of pedestrians.
F. 
The Town Board finds and determines that the interest of the public is best served by cooperation and communication between public utilities and the Town Board.
G. 
In enacting this article, the Town Board deems this article to be an exercise of the police power of the Town of Thompson for the preservation and protection of public safety and is enacted pursuant to the authority contained in the Highway Law, Town Law, and Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
H. 
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to require utilities that use Town highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town to promptly remove their plants, cables, lines, equipment, and terminals from old and damaged poles and to further require the prompt removal of double poles once all plants, cables, lines, equipment, and terminals have been removed.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (CEO)
The Town of Thompson Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee.
DANGEROUS/DAMAGED POLE
Any utility pole that is structurally compromised due to weather, a traffic incident, and/or age and poses a potential threat to public safety.
DOUBLE POLE
Any old utility pole which is attached or in close proximity to a new utility pole.
PLANT
The cables, terminals, conductors and other fixtures necessary for transmitting electric, telephone, cable television or other telecommunications service.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any corporation, authority, or other entity that provides electric, telephone, cable television, or other service, including telecommunications service, to the residents of the Town of Thompson.
UTILITY POLE
A column or post used to support service lines for a public utility.
WRITTEN NOTIFICATION/WRITTEN NOTICE
A writing directed to a representative of a public utility, who may be designated by the utility to receive such notice, sent by regular mail, facsimile transmission or electronic mail.
No person, firm or corporation subject to the jurisdiction and regulation of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) shall place or erect any pole for any purpose on any Town highway, street, road, right-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town, or change the location of any existing pole on any Town highway, street, road, right-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town, without first having provided notification to the Town through the PSC-required accepted electronic notification system being utilized by said utilities.
A. 
When the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) is properly notified of the pending installation of a utility pole which is directly next to or in close proximity to another utility pole on a Town highway, street, road, or right-of-way, the CEO will provide written notice to the public utility which has the top plant on the double pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. Upon the removal of each plant, the CEO shall provide written notice to the public utility that owns the subsequent plant on the pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the double pole within an additional 30 days. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties as provided for in § 228-6 of this article.
B. 
When the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) determines that a utility pole on a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town is damaged and poses a potential threat to public safety, the CEO shall provide written notice to any public utility with a plant on the damaged pole that it must remove its plant from the pole within 15 days or be subject to a penalty as provided for in § 228-6 of this article. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the double pole. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties as provided for in § 228-6 of this article.
C. 
When the CEO determines that a double pole is on a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town, the CEO will provide written notice to the public utility which has the top plant on the double pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. Upon the removal of each plant, the CEO shall provide written notice to the public utility that owns the subsequent plant on the pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the double pole within an additional 60 days. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties as provided for in § 228-6 of this article.
Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, the CEO may extend the time frame of any written notice provided under this article for an additional period not exceeding the original statutory time frame set forth in this article. The public utility shall make a request for an extension in writing to the CEO prior to the expiration of the time frame contained in the original written notice, together with the basis for the request. The CEO shall determine whether the request for extension should be granted or denied and provide a written response to the public utility. In such instances where the request is granted, the CEO shall issue another written notice, which shall then be applicable instead of the previously issued notice.
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or public utility convicted of a violation of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation, for a first conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000; for a second or subsequent conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000. Every day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
B. 
Any public utility found guilty of violating this article and that fails to remove its plant from a damaged pole within 15 days of receiving notification from the Town, pursuant to this article, shall be punished by a fine of up to $250 for each such violation. Each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
C. 
Any public utility that fails to remove a double pole within 90 days of receiving notification from the Town, pursuant to this article, shall be punished by a fine of $1,000 per full calendar month that the violation continues.
D. 
If a person, firm or corporation or public utility violates the provisions of this article, the Town Attorney may commence an action in the name of the Town of Thompson in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking any remedy provided by law or equity, including any civil and/or injunction proceeding necessary to enforce compliance and/or enjoin noncompliance with this article. Such action may seek to remove damaged poles and/or double poles, or to remove plants from such poles, the imposition of civil penalties as authorized by this article, the recovery of costs of the action and such other remedies as may be necessary to prevent or enjoin a dangerous condition from existing on a Town highway, street, road, or right-of-way.
A. 
This article shall apply to all utility poles located on any Town highway, street, road, right-of-way or any other roadway or right-of-way located in the Town, and to all utility poles installed hereafter.
B. 
The provisions of this article shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes and regulations; and nothing in this article shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies of the Town, county or state or existing requirements of any other applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations. In case of conflict between any provision of this article and any applicable state or local law, ordinance, code or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.