New Hyde Park board delays vote on double poles law

James Galloway

The New Hyde Park Board of Trustees delayed a vote Tuesday on a local law requiring the removal of side-by-side or double utility poles within the village.

Instead, the board plans to amend the law to include additional requirements pertaining to the filling of holes left by removed poles.

New Hyde Park Mayor Robert Lofaro said the amendments “more than likely” mean the village will have another public hearing on the measure.

The board next meets with the village attorney on March 10, Lofaro said, which would be the first opportunity for the mayor and trustees to see the revised law. He said the earliest dates for the next hearing would likely be late March or early April.

The updated law would require that the holes left by removed poles be filled and manicured in a way that matches the surrounding area, such as grass on grass or cement on cement, Lofaro said.

The idea came from a resident who raised a question about the matter at the previous public hearing.

“The board has decided to hold back and incorporate that into the law,” he said. “We’re not at this point ready to enact the local law.”

Though the board delayed the vote, Lofaro said, the village sent letters to utility companies Verizon, PSEG and Cablevision notifying them of the village’s intent to pass the law.

The letter included a list of the 88 double poles in the village.

“We want them to in advance of the law get out and remove the poles,” Lofaro said, adding that the list would allow each utility to determine the poles for which it would be responsible.

He said it is mostly Cablevision and Verizon who “still had stuff” on the poles.

The law, which is modeled on a similar law passed by the Town of North Hempstead, would require utility companies to remove old poles prior to a deadline or be subject to fines of $500 fine for a first offense and $1,000 per-day for a second offense.

Since North Hempstead passed the law, at least 187 of 217 double poles under the town’s purview were removed, according to Newsday.

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