Skoufis launches initiative encouraging municipalities to combat ‘zombie’ poles

Originally published in Pike County Courier on .
An example of a 'zombie' pole

NY State Senator James Skoufis (D-42) recently asked local municipalities to pressure utility companies to remove hazardous and abandoned utility infrastructure. In recent weeks, Skoufis and his team reached out to municipal leaders across his Orange County district to encourage their adoption of a local law that would impose fines on utility companies that fail to remove double poles (sometimes referred to as “zombie poles”) and their attachments in a timely manner.

In his announcement, Skoufis explained that equipment such as excess power lines and unused poles are not only a blight along local roadways, but often pose a danger to residents. He suggested local lawmakers model their laws on the ones enacted by the town of Wallkill, Chapter 101-2, which ensures utilities are held accountable for timely removal of these features by levying a per-day fine.

“In pressing our area utilities to account for their own neglect of this infrastructure, we uncovered eye-popping stats,” said Skoufis. “While there are many offenders, Frontier is, by far, the worst, with some of their unused lines remaining in place for over 3,000 days. While utilities provide essential services to our constituents, it is equally essential that they operate in a manner that’s mindful of our communities’ safety, aesthetics, and overall quality of life.”