BY LINDA BENTLEY | MAY 26, 2010
Local residents complain about metal utility poles
APS upgrading lines to correct ‘significant voltage drops and flicker’
Cave Creek and county residents in the vicinity of Fleming Springs and Echo Canyon Roads are outraged by APS’ plans to replace wooden utility poles with recently dropped off metal ones. Photo by Linda Bentley
CAVE CREEK – Last week, a group of residents along Continental Trail, Fleming Springs, Lone Mountain North, Rockaway Hills and Echo Canyon roads noticed metal utility poles had been delivered to replace existing wooden poles.
Area resident Anna Marsolo sent out an e-mail with APS Area Manager Kendra Cea’s contact information, urging her neighbors to call Cea as soon as possible, citing some neighborhoods in Phoenix were successful in stopping the metal poles from going in.
Marsolo said, “We must act fast, however, before those poles go in,” telling neighbors to call Cea and ask “for her help to get wooden poles instead.”
During her conversation with Cea, Marsolo said she was told APS sent letters to affected residents and the town’s zoning administrator regarding the pole changes.
However, Marsolo said she never received a letter and asked if anyone else had received any such letter.
The very next day, representatives with APS agreed to meet with area residents and Town Engineer Wayne Anderson.
According to Marsolo other options were presented but Anderson said the town would not support the other options.
Anderson said the town believed the adopted plan which incorporated the use of two self-supporting, angle poles, was a safer one because it eliminated the need for guy wires in the right-of-way and power would be better.
Marsolo stated after the meeting, “We were blasted out of the water and all wasted a lot of time for nothing, as without town support, of course APS would do what the town wanted.”
Terry Zerkle, who also attended the meeting, asked why APS wasn’t burying the lines since there was a fund available for that purpose.
APS said all the funds for burying lines were already spent.
Lorenzo Martin, a realtor who lives in the area where the poles are being replaced, expressed concern that the new poles could further devalue property in an already depressed market.
When Sonoran News contacted Cea, she said the pole replacement was part of a “reconductoring project,” explaining the area has suffered from “significant voltage drop and flicker.”
She said the upgrade from single phase to three-phase wire requires the poles to be replaced and APS has elected to use “weatherized” or “rusted” poles, which is how the finish is described, not their condition, to blend in better with the area.
The metal poles are 50 feet in height and narrower than their 45-foot tall creosote-soaked wooden counterparts.
Cea also said the project includes two “angle poles,” which are 45 feet tall with a broader base, making them self-supporting, eliminating the need for guy wires and an additional pole.
She said the project will take about two months to complete and any residents with direct connections, whose power will be briefly disconnected will be notified personally.
Cea also pointed out the same type of metal pole had been installed not that long ago on the property directly adjacent to, just to the east and south of Marsolo’s and said no one seemed to notice when that one was installed.
The “weatherized” or “rusted” poles are already in use throughout many parts of Cave Creek, including poles along Cave Creek Road, such as this one just west of School House Road. Photo by Linda Bentley