Logan power director willing to fix power pole mistake

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LOGAN -- Government agencies have been blamed before for covering up their mistakes, but not in one Utah city. An error by a Logan city department could cost thousands of dollars in wasted man hours.

They're big, noticeable, and, depending on who you talk to, necessary. The new, steel power poles along 100 East near 300 South in Logan shouldn't be here, at least not yet.

You see, no public meetings were ever held about them, and the city never got a permit for them.

"They should've done that. I think they just didn't know," Logan resident Grant Bergsjo says.

That's exactly what Jeff White, the director for Logan Light and Power, says happened: he didn't know.

"It's my fault for making the assumptions," White says.

While the Utah Department of Transportation was widening 100 East, White says his department had to move some of the old wooden utility poles.

"In the course of doing that, we found out that some of the other poles were rotted off," he says.

The wooden poles were replaced with the steel poles, which White had extra of from another city project. It wasn't until a resident on 100 East called the city, asking about the poles, that the city realized something was wrong.

"I immediately got out and took a look at it and checked back on the permits, and [I] found the permits did not include this work," says Jay Nielsen, Logan community development director.

"We found out that with the UDOT project, we did not have approval through the planning department," White says.

Now White says he's willing to do whatever it takes to make this situation right, including, if its decided, to take the poles down.

"It could be taking them out," he says. "It could be changing the color. It could be relocating some of them."

Logan Light and Power will now ask the planning commission for a permit. The public will have a say as well.

"There will probably be some compromises along the way, and ultimately, the planning commission will decide what's best for the community," Nielsen says.

That meeting should happen next month.

Logan City says there are 42 utility poles in that stretch along 100 East. Work on replacing the wooden poles with steel poles has stopped until this matter gets resolved.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com


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