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LSR Resident
New member
Username: Vox

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 10:09 am:   

There are 7 new telephone poles that have just been erected along Lebanon between Teel and Beacon Hill. Just 7. No more. One small section only.

Does Frisco still use telephone poles for utilities? Why wouldn't these lines be buried? It is much safer and not as much of an eyesore.

This is brand new construction so I would think there should be no reason these lines shouldn't be buried.

Can someone please explain the reasoning for the use of these poles? Was this a City decision? A Developer decision? A decision made by Coserv perhaps?

Thank You for any information regarding this matter.
 

Perry Harts, Moderator
Moderator
Username: Perry

Post Number: 78
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 09:02 am:   

Unfortunately, the city no longer can require utility lines to be buried. There have been a few court cases in the recent past that have severely limited this authority. In other words, if the city requires the developer or utility to bury the lines then the cost of that burial would have to be carried by the developer or the utility. In the case of the developer they will argue they are carrying a disproportionate amount of the cost since other will use the line. Developers have won court cases to this effect. And in the case of the utility they (the utilities, supported by the Public Utility Commission) argue that the cost of burial would have to be passed along to all of the rate payers thus impacting their rate tariff (what they charge the rate payer) which is set by the PUC thus that is interfering in their tariff. The utility companies have also won a court case related to the rate tariff as well thus limiting the ability to require them to bury the lines. In summary, the recent court cases prevent us from being able to require the burial of lines unless the city pays 100% of the costs. A recent study to examine burying the lines going up on Eldorado Parkway revealed that it would cost the tax payer approximately $1,195,562 per mile per side of the roadway - and - this cost does not account for the cost of additional right-of-way, easements, etc. So, as you can see it is simply cost prohibitive for the city to simply pay these new costs.

Ron Patterson
Asst. City Manager
 

LSR Resident
New member
Username: Vox

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 11:13 am:   

Ron, thank you for your reply. This is one reason why I appreciate this service so much - a direct dialogue with city officials.

One follow up question please:

1. Why has this one, small, section been singled out in this particular instance? Lebanon runs a good 4-5 miles from the Toll Way to 423. Why is this particular 100-200 yards been selected for this type of implementation? This decision appears incongruous with the other construction being done along Lebanon right now with the expansion project. I am trying to understand why 7 poles are being erected when the entire length of Lebanon has buried utilities.

Thank You for your time and effort on this matter.
 

Perry Harts, Moderator
Moderator
Username: Perry

Post Number: 80
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 05:10 pm:   

To be honest I am not certain why the utility provider chose to go this direction in this area. Unfortunately, the decision for overhead or underground along thoroughfares is totally in the utility companies hands now.

Respectfully,
Ron Patterson
Assistant City Manager
 

David Warhoftig
New member
Username: Warthogdn

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 02:38 pm:   

Is there an issue with the easement on this fifteen foot section of land? CoServ has said that the City of Frisco was not willing to give them the rights to the easement. Could you explain why this small section did not have the proper easement granted by the City from the beginning?
 

Perry Harts, Moderator
Moderator
Username: Perry

Post Number: 82
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 08:09 am:   

On any piece of right-of-way there is space between the back of the curb and adjacent private property in which the city places its utilities (water/sewer). In this space the City grants other utilities the right use such space for their facilities. Coserv could use this space for their overhead or underground utilities. They simply refuse to bury their lines in this shared area. Additionally, Coserv has adopted a system wide policy that they want a 15’ “private easement” in that limited space. What that means is that they want 15’ that is under their exclusive control and in which no other utilities can be placed, which also excludes the city’s obviously important water and sewer lines. There simply is not room for all of the utilities if they insist on these private easements. If they insist on a 15’ private easement they have the option to obtain this additional space this is not something the city owns or has the right to control. They would be required to obtain this additional space from the owner of the adjacent land but Coserv does not want to purchase such additional land (easement). I hope this helps explain the situation.

Respectfully,
Ron Patterson
Assistant City Manager
 

Jeff Chapman
New member
Username: Lsr_press

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 11:16 pm:   

The 7 poles cover a length of 350 feet. Using your numbers for cost per mile time 350 feet comes to $80,740. Plus this is not subtracting the cost the utility company is paying to erect telephone pole electrical lines.
This does not seem like a huge expense to create such an eye sore. It does not match the entire theme of Frisco. What other measures can a resident of Frisco take up with the city on this matter?

Has the city paid for ANY underground electrical lines up to now? Lebanon is almost completely built out with all underground electrical lines. This very small section is going to look out of character. How does this city board feel about this? Do they have an official statement on the subject?
 

Perry Harts, Moderator
Moderator
Username: Perry

Post Number: 83
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 09:29 am:   

I cannot verify your number on this site due to the fact I do not have all of the information such as available right-of-way which I will speak to in a moment. However, you cannot subtract out the cost of the poles. The cost per mile previously posted is the cost the utility company charges without any offsets for poles which we have brought up to them in the past by they do not recognize that as a credit against cost. As previously stated, “Unfortunately, the city no longer can require utility lines to be buried. There have been a few court cases in the recent past that have severely limited this authority. In other words, if the city requires the developer or utility to bury the lines then the cost of that burial would have to be carried by the developer or the utility. In the case of the developer they will argue they are carrying a disproportionate amount of the cost since other will use the line. Developers have won court cases to this effect. And in the case of the utility they (the utilities, supported by the Public Utility Commission) argue that the cost of burial would have to be passed along to all of the rate payers thus impacting their rate tariff (what they charge the rate payer) which is set by the PUC thus that is interfering in their tariff. The utility companies have also won a court case related to the rate tariff as well thus limiting the ability require them to bury the lines. In summary, the recent court cases prevent us from being able to require the burial of lines unless the city pays 100% of the costs. A recent study to examine burying the lines going up on Eldorado Parkway revealed that it would cost the tax payer approximately $1,195,562 per mile per side of the roadway - and - this cost does not account for the cost of additional right-of-way, easements, etc. So, as you can see it is simply cost prohibitive for the city to simply pay these new costs.”

Please note in this previous statement that the cost per mile provided does not include additional right-of-way or easements. This brings me to another problem with utility company policies regarding the of overhead lines. On another post regarding this matter we provided the following: “On any piece of right-of-way there is space between the back of the curb and adjacent private property in which the city places its utilities (water/sewer). In this space the City grants other utilities the right use such space for their facilities. Coserv could use this space for their overhead or underground utilities. They simply refuse to bury their lines in this shared area, [even if the city paid for the burial]. Additionally, Coserv has adopted a system wide policy that they want a 15’ “private easement” in that limited space [if a line is to be buried]. What that means is that they want 15’ that is under their exclusive control and in which no other utilities can be placed, which also excludes the city’s obviously important water and sewer lines. There simply is not room for all of the utilities if they insist on these private easements [for buried line] . If they insist on a 15’ private easement, they have the option to obtain this additional space which is not an area the city owns or has the right to control. They would be required to obtain this additional space from the owner of the adjacent land but Coserv does not want to purchase such additional land (easement)…”

Finally, to directly answer your questions. Based on the PUC actions, the court cases and utility company policies outlined above this is not a matter that the City can control therefore someone could contact the utility and\or the Public Utility Commission. With regard to the City burying lines, no, the city has not buried any other lines along thoroughfares of which I am aware. The City Council took up the issue of burial of overhead utilities along Eldorado as the catalyst to begin the discussion and then examined the issue as a whole. It was clear that cost shifting this expense to the tax payer was not an acceptable alternative.

Sorry so long winded but I hope this provides you with the answer to your questions.

Ron Patterson
Assistant City Manager
 

Chris Gage
New member
Username: Tengage

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 08:55 pm:   

I have a questions regarding the poles. I noticed that some of the poles look like they were installed by drunk people. Some of the ones I noticed are the ones on Teel north of Eldorado but I've seen some poorly plumbed poles everywhere they're being installed. Is there some sort of acceptable "Lean"?
 

Curt Balogh, Spec. Asst. to the City Mgr
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 564
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 06:00 pm:   

Per Elizabeth Metting, Assistant Director of Engineering:

Overhead lines are designed by engineers to withstand the forces on poles and the weight of the lines, including other forces such as wind, ice and temperature changes. City staff requested that Coserv review the installation north of Teel and received the following response.

The pole north of Goodwin may need a downguy added. Two poles just south of Old Hawkins have a rake to the left, but their angle of rake opposes the wire tension, so the wire will likely help "straighten" the pole during the summer. Coserv crews will review and take any appropriate actions they believe are needed.

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