Placement of Penticton power poles a problem after paving

A couple of Fortis owned power poles need to be relocated following reconstruction of Industrial Avenue, but the cost of relocation wasn't in the budget.

PENTICTON - A couple of errant power poles on a newly reconstructed street corner by the City of Penticton has some people shaking their heads.

Residents in the area of Industrial Avenue and Atkinson Street have noticed two power poles at that intersection located on the crosswalk beyond the curb following the recent completion of a major reconstruction last week. No, it wasn't a mistake and people better get used to them because they could be there for another ten years.

Turns out the city is just trying to look out for taxpayers’ dollars.

City spokesperson Simone Blais says the two power poles are the property of Fortis B.C. — not the city. When the reconstruction project began, the city approached Fortis about relocating the poles, but they refused, saying the cost wasn’t in their budget.

“The intersection is designed so that when Fortis has to replace those poles in five to 10 years’ time, they will have to relocate them behind the city’s newly installed infrastructure at their cost, with no cost to the city or taxpayers,” Blais says in an email.

Prior to the street being rebuilt, there were no sidewalks or curbs to mark transition of the roadway to curb. As a result, the power poles did not appear to be interfering with the roadway as much as they do now.

"Intersection design always includes consideration of pedestrian traffic and accessibility. The work is not complete on site – when it is, there will be an interim solution in place to protect pedestrians that will be visible and accessible to those with mobility aids," Blais stated.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 4:30 p.m., June 2, 2015, with additional comments from the City of Penticton.

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