Town of Wawayanda, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wawayanda 9-2-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The Town Board finds and determines that public utility companies place poles on Town of Wawayanda highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to facilitate the delivery of electric, telephone, cable television, and other telecommunications services to the residents and businesses of the Town of Wawayanda. Local governments have the authority to regulate their highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to protect the public and promote the overall public interest.
B. 
The Town Board finds and determines that utility poles are damaged from time to time, and that public safety can be compromised when utility lines and equipment remain affixed to utility poles that are weathered or otherwise damaged. The Town Board finds and determines that when a new pole is installed, a utility's delay in removing the 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, and obstructs the paths of pedestrians.
C. 
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. The Town Board deems this chapter to be an exercise of the police power of the Town of Wawayanda for the preservation and protection of public safety and promotion of the public welfare, 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. The purpose of this chapter is to require utilities that use Town highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to promptly remove their plants, cables, lines, equipment and terminals from old or damaged poles and to further require the prompt removal of old or damaged poles and double poles promptly after all plants, cables, lines, equipment and terminals have been removed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DANGEROUS/DAMAGED POLE
Any utility pole that is structurally compromised due to weather, a traffic incident, age, or any other reason, and poses a potential threat to public safety.
DOUBLE POLE
Any utility pole which is attached or in close proximity to another utility pole or a proposed new utility pole.
PLANT
The cables, terminals, conductors and other fixtures necessary for transmitting electric, telephone, cable television or other telecommunications or utility services.
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 Wawayanda.
UTILITY POLE
A pole, column or post used to support service lines or a plant 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 or regulation of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) shall place or erect any pole for any purpose in, on, next to or near any Town of Wawayanda highway, street, road or right-of-way, or change the location of any existing pole in, on, next to or near any Town highway, street, road or right-of-way, without first having provided notification to the Town Highway Superintendent through the PSC-required accepted electronic notification system utilized by utilities.
A. 
When the Town Highway Superintendent is properly notified of the pending installation of a utility pole which is next to or in close proximity to another utility pole in, on, next to or near a Town highway, street, road, or right-of-way, the Highway Superintendent 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 Highway Superintendent shall provide written notice to the public utility that owns the next lower 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 30 days after removal of that plant or be subject to penalty. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties as provided for in § 176-6 of this chapter.
B. 
When the Highway Superintendent determines that a utility pole in, on, next to or near a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way is damaged and poses a potential threat to public safety, the Highway Superintendent shall provide written notice to each 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 § 176-6 of this chapter. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the pole, which must be removed within 15 days after removal of the plant or be subject to penalty. An affected utility may present documentary evidence to the Town in the form of a report from a licensed engineer certifying that the plant and/or pole is not a threat to public safety within 10 days from the date of the Highway Superintendent's notification. In the event that the Highway Superintendent is satisfied that the plant and/or pole no longer poses a threat to public safety, he shall have the discretion to withdraw the removal notice.
C. 
When the Highway Superintendent determines that a double pole is in, on, next to or near a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way, the Highway Superintendent 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 as provided in § 176-6 of this chapter. Upon the removal of each plant, the Highway Superintendent shall provide written notice to the public utility that has the next lower 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 60 days after removal of that plant or be subject to penalty.
A. 
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, upon a written request from a public utility, the Highway Superintendent may extend the time frame of any written notice provided under this chapter for an additional period not exceeding the original time frame. The public utility shall make a request for an extension in writing to the Highway Superintendent prior to the expiration of the time frame contained in the original written notice, together with the basis for the request. The Highway Superintendent 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 Highway Superintendent shall issue another written notice, which shall then be applicable instead of the previously issued notice.
B. 
In the event of an emergency that affects the repair, replacement, removal, or installation of utility poles or plants, the Town Supervisor may temporarily suspend the deadlines in § 176-4 of this chapter for periods not exceeding 30 days.
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or public utility convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable, for a first conviction, by a fine not exceeding $1,000; and for a second or subsequent conviction, by a fine not exceeding $2,000. Each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
B. 
In addition to and not in lieu of the above, any public utility found guilty of violating this chapter and which fails to remove its plant from a damaged pole within 15 days of receiving notification from the Town, pursuant to this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of up to $250 per day for each such violation.
C. 
In addition to and not in lieu of the above, any public utility that fails to remove a pole within the time frame set forth in this chapter shall be punished by a fine of $250 per day for each such violation.
D. 
In addition to and not in lieu of the above, if a person, firm, corporation or public utility violates any provision of this chapter, the Town Board or Town Highway Superintendent may commence an action in the name of the Town of Wawayanda in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking any remedy provided by law or equity, including any civil penalties and/or injunction to enforce compliance or enjoin noncompliance with this chapter. Such proceeding may seek to remove and dispose damaged poles, double poles, and service lines and plants from such poles, the imposition of civil penalties, the recovery of fees and costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, and such other remedies as may be necessary to prevent or enjoin a potentially dangerous condition or violation of this chapter.
E. 
Civil penalties shall be in the same amounts as provided in Subsections A, B and C of this § 176-6.
A. 
This chapter shall apply to all utility poles located now or in the future, in, on, next to or near any Town highway, street, road or right-of-way.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes and regulations. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish, impair or replace existing remedies of the Town, county or state existing requirements of any other applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations. In case of conflict between any provision of this chapter and any applicable state or local law, ordinance, code or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.