To The Editor:
Work by contractors in the public right of way, especially those working on behalf of local utility companies, and its attendant disruptions to the neighborhood is an inevitable inconvenience and one of the prices we must pay for our modern way of life. But that is does not mean that once that work is completed, the streets and sidewalks are not restored to good condition. That’s why the Board of Trustees considered two proposed local laws for the Village of Croton holding companies accountable for the work at last Monday’s work session.
Over the years, residents have peppered the Village with complaints about the quality of work by some of the contractors working in the public right of way. Sometimes, they install a new utility pole but leave the old one behind, allowing it to decay and become a blight. Other times, after completing work on underground equipment such as gas lines, they do a haphazard job of patching the roadway.
The proposed revisions to the street openings section of the Village Code (Chapter 197, Art. II) would require those doing work requiring opening a Village street to get a permit (except for emergency work). Permittees would be required to make a deposit and provide the Village with a bond to guarantee faithful performance of the authorized work. The amount of the bond would be set 100% of the estimated cost of restoring the street opening as determined by the Village Engineer.
If a permittee fails to faithfully complete the work, the Village is empowered to step up and make sure the street is properly restored. All expenses incurred by the village will be recovered from the deposit and/or bond.
Under the proposed local law on double poles (Chapter 197, Art. VII), existing poles must be removed within 120 days after installation of the new pole. When the Village determines that a utility pole in a Village right-of-way is damaged and poses a potential threat to the public safety, the Village give a utility company 15 days notice to remove its plant from the damaged pole. Failure to comply with either deadline would result in daily fines of $250.
As always, if the Board of Trustees votes, to move forward, a public hearing will be scheduled prior to a final vote on the adoption of the proposed local laws. In the meantime, Village Board will continue to review this legislation and any other options to empower our Village staff to better serve the public.