City of North Adams, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
State law reference: Law of the commonwealth on poles and wires generally in cities, G.L., C. 166, § 30 et seq.

Sec. 21-35 Power and authority of commissioner of public works generally.

The commissioner of public works shall have supervision of all pipes and wires under the streets and public places and of all conduits and other structures holding, supporting or containing such wires.

Sec. 21-36 Permit to construct and maintain—Application for issuance.

Permits to construct and maintain under, upon or over public way or places, pipes, ducts, conduits, distributing poles, wires, structures or other appliance or apparatus for the purpose of transmitting intelligence by electricity or otherwise or for the purpose of transmitting electricity or gas for light, heat or power may be issued by the city council upon application filed with the city clerk.

Sec. 21-37 Same—Plans to accompany application.

[Ord. of 2-9-1982]
Every petition presented to the city council for a permit under the provisions of section 21-36 shall be accompanied by a plan showing the exact proposed location of each such facility and its relationship to the existing location of other utilities in the immediate area which may be affected by such proposed facility. A copy of such plan shall also be submitted to the commissioner of public services at the time of application.

Sec. 21-37.1 Fees.

[Ord. of 4-14-2009]
The fee for an Order for Joint or Identical Pole Location Inspection shall be $50 and re-inspection shall be $25.

Sec. 21-38 Same—Acceptance of conditions by permittee; when permit voided.

Whenever any permit required by this chapter is granted the person or corporation to which such permit is granted shall, within 60 days from the date of such permit, file in the office of the city clerk a written acceptance, without reservation, of the location of such pipes, wires, distributing poles, ducts, conduits, manholes or other fixtures and of all the lawful conditions, terms and provisions contained in the permit and the ordinances of the city and an agreement to carry out, observe, perform and be subject to the same; and in default of such written acceptance and agreement, the permit and grant of location shall be void. Such permit and grant shall likewise be void and deemed revoked unless within six months after filing of such acceptance and agreement all pipes, ducts, conduits, manholes and other fixtures covered thereby shall have been constructed, completed, and put in operation.

Sec. 21-39 Bond.

[Ord. of 2-9-1982]
No permit under this article shall be valid until the person or corporation to which such permit is granted, shall have executed and filed annually with the city clerk a bond, satisfactory in form to the city solicitor, in a penal sum of $100,000 for each injury and $300,000 in the aggregate, to indemnify and save harmless the city against all loss, cost, damage and expense whatsoever to which the city may be subjected in consequence of the acts or neglect of such person or corporation, or his or its officers, agents or employees, and in any manner arising from or growing out of the use and transmission of electricity or gas and the transmission of intelligence by electricity in the exercise of privileges permitted by the city, and the construction, maintenance, operation., and use of pipes, lines, wires, distributing poles, cables, conduits, constructions, fixtures and apparatus pursuant thereto. The bond shall also be conditioned upon the fulfillment of all agreements with the city, and the compliance with all lawful orders, conditions and obligations imposed by the city council and the commissioner of public services, and the performance of all duties required by law, and by any ordinance of the city.

Sec. 21-40 Plan showing location of underground facilities.

Whenever the commissioner of public works shall so request, every person or corporation owning pipes, ducts, conduits, manholes or electric or other wires under any public way or place, shall within a reasonable time thereafter, furnish a plan showing the particular location and usage of all or any part of such facilities, with such specifications as may be required by the commissioner.

Sec. 21-41 Order to change location.

After having first given the person or corporation to whom the permit for the erection thereof has been granted an opportunity to be heard, the city council may order that the location in the public way of any pipe, conduit, manhole, fixture, wire or distributing pole shall be changed, and may grant a substitute location therefor. Whenever the location of any pipe, conduit, manhole, fixture, wire, or distributing pole is so ordered to be changed, such change shall be made in conformity with the order by and at the expense of the owner within 60 days after notice, and if not so changed the commissioner of public works may cause such change to be made and the expense thereof shall be repaid to the city by the owner.

Sec. 21-42 Compliance with rules and regulations of commissioner of public works; access to facilities; manner of performing work.

Every person or corporation operating or leasing any pipes, wires, ducts, conduits, manholes, electrical structures or appliances under the surface of any street or way shall comply with all reasonable rules and requirements of the commissioner of public works, and shall, at all reasonable times, give to the supervisor of wires access to such wires, ducts, conduits, manholes, structures, appliances and apparatus.
All work of installation, changing or repairs shall be done in a thorough manner and to the satisfaction of the commissioner of public works.

Sec. 21-43 City to have free use for police and fire alarm system.

In every underground conduit one duct not less than three inches in diameter shall be reserved and maintained, free of charge, for the use of the fire alarm, police and other telegraph and telephone signal wires belonging to the city and used exclusively for municipal purposes.

Sec. 21-44 Permit required to excavate, etc., street, etc., surface; restoration work.

The surface of a street, way or bridge shall not be disturbed for the purpose of laying, repairing, changing or removing pipes, lines, wires, conduits or manholes, or of erecting, altering or removing distributing poles or other poles or fixtures used for carrying electric lines or wires without a permit in writing from the commissioner of public works, indicating the time, manner and place of opening such street and the time within which such work shall be completed. This provision shall not however be construed as requiring any permit for the opening of manholes for the purpose of drawing in, removing or repairing wires or cables. Whenever a manhole is open the person or corporation by whose authority the same is done shall place a suitable metallic guard rail around the opening, with a signal, at least one foot square, displayed therefrom. Whenever an opening is made in any public way or bridge for any of the purposes aforesaid, such part of the public way or bridge shall be promptly restored by the person or corporation owning or operating the pipes, lines, wires, ducts, conduits, or manholes, or making such repairs, to a condition satisfactory to the commissioner of public works, and the portion of the street, way or bridge so opened shall be kept and maintained in such condition by such person or corporation for one year thereafter; and if not immediately so restored, and thereafter kept and maintained, the commissioner of public works may after 48 hours' notice cause the same to be done at the expense of such person or corporation.

Sec. 21-45 Facilities of others not to be interfered with.

In laying, repairing or removing pipes, wires, or conduits, no person or corporation, shall disturb or in any way interfere with pipes, wires, conduits, manholes or appliances owned by any other person or corporation.

Sec. 21-46 Repair or replacement of unsafe facilities; removal of abandoned facilities generally.

Whenever pipes, wires, conduits or other structures are regulated by this article in the judgment of the commissioner of public works, unsuitable or unsafe, the person or corporation owning or operating the same shall immediately upon his demand repair or replace the same to his satisfaction. If not immediately repaired or replaced the commissioner of public works may cause such repairs or substitutions to be made, and the expense thereof shall be repaid to the city by the owner. He may cause abandoned pipes, wires, conduits or other structures to be removed.

Sec. 21-47 Removal of certain wires, poles, etc., after completion of conduit.

Upon the completion of a conduit in any public way or place which is designed to support existing overhead structures, the person or corporation owning, leasing or operating the same shall forthwith remove from above the surface of such public way or place all wires, cables and conductors and all poles or structures used in such way or place to support wires, cables and conductors, except when in the judgment of the commissioner of public works it is impracticable to remove such wires, cables, poles, conductors or structures. This section shall not apply to posts for the support of lamps exclusively or to poles used exclusively for local distribution from underground wires, cables or conductors.