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Village of Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 8-21-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This article was originally adopted as Ch. 153.
A. 
The Village Board hereby finds and determines that public utility companies, as defined by Subsection 23 of § 2 of the New York State Public Service Law, place poles on the highways, streets, roads, and rights-of-way in the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson to facilitate the delivery of electric, telecommunications, cable television, and other services to the residents of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson.
B. 
The Village Board hereby finds and determines that local governments have the authority to regulate their highways, streets, roads, and rights-of-way to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
C. 
The Village Board hereby finds and determines that public utility companies sometimes fail to timely remove their attached utility facilities from currently existing utility poles and transfer them to new or replacement utility poles, and also fail to timely remove inactive, damaged, or replaced utility poles, also known as a "double wood poles" or "double poles."
D. 
The Village Board hereby finds and determines that public safety may be jeopardized when public utility companies fail to promptly remove their attached facilities from replaced utility poles and fail to remove these older poles, which may be damaged or structurally unsound. Moreover, unnecessary double poles located within close proximity to other utility poles and adjacent to highways, streets, roads, and rights-of-way may pose an immediate and serious hazard to motorists and pedestrians because they impede visibility, particularly at or near intersections, and obstruct the paths of pedestrians. In addition, these unnecessary double poles constitute a visual eyesore that compromises public aesthetics.
E. 
The Village Board hereby finds and determines that the interest of the public is best served by cooperation and communication between public utility companies and the Village Board.
F. 
In enacting this article, the Village Board deems this article to be an exercise of the police power of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson for the preservation and protection of public safety and public aesthetics. This article is enacted pursuant to the authority contained in the Highway Law, Village Law, and Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
G. 
The purpose of this article is to require public utility companies that own and/or use utility poles located adjacent to Village highways, streets, roads, and rights-of-way to promptly remove their facilities from inactive, damaged, and replaced utility poles and to further require the prompt removal of these double poles once all attached utility facilities have been removed.
H. 
The New York State Public Service Commission ("PSC") has primary jurisdiction over the terms and conditions of utility pole attachments in New York pursuant to New York Public Service Law § 119-a. At the time of enactment, this article does not conflict with the orders, rules, regulations, and guidance of the PSC regarding the transfer and removal of utility facilities and removal of inactive, damaged, or replaced utility poles. If the PSC amends its orders, rules, regulations, or guidance in the future, public utility companies that own and/or use utility poles located adjacent to Village highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way will continue to be required to comply with the mandates of this article to the extent that this article does not conflict with the orders, rules, regulations, and guidance of the PSC.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS
The Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Commissioner of Public Works or his/her designee.
DANGEROUS OR DAMAGED POLE
Any utility pole that is structurally compromised due to weather, a traffic incident, and/or age and may pose a danger to public safety.
DOUBLE POLE or DOUBLE WOOD POLE
Any inactive, damaged, and/or replaced utility pole which is located within close proximity to a new utility pole, including poles from which public utility companies are required or strongly encouraged to transfer their attached facilities to the new utility poles, and that the utility pole owner is required or strongly encouraged to remove pursuant to the PSC's orders, rules, regulations, and guidance.
FACILITY or FACILITIES
The cables, terminals, conductors, and other fixtures necessary for transmitting electric, telecommunications, cable television, or other services provided by the owner or joint owner of, or other licensed attachers to a utility pole.
PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY
Any corporation, authority, or other entity, as defined by Subsection 23 of § 2 of the New York State Public Service Law, that provides electric, telecommunications, cable television, or other service to the residents of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson.
REMOVE or REMOVAL
Extrication of an entire utility pole, including any of its moorings and appurtenances, or, where necessary, the cutting of a utility pole flush to the ground, and the filling and grading of any hole or opening left after such extrication or cutting in a manner that leaves a level grade safe for vehicle and pedestrian travel.
UNLICENSED ATTACHER
Any entity that has attached any facility or facilities to a utility pole without the authority to do so in a written agreement or contract with a pole owner.
UTILITY POLE
A structure, column, or post affixed to the ground and used to support public utility company facilities.
A. 
Any utility pole which is within 12 feet of another utility pole unless:
(1) 
It is necessary to safely carry some or all of the utility service lines which it, and all other utility poles within 12 feet of it, are intended to carry; and
(2) 
There is no feasible alternative configuration of utility poles which can safely carry all of the utility service lines in that area using only utility poles 12 or more feet from one another.
B. 
Absent satisfactory evidence of the necessity of retaining the older utility pole in question and/or the feasibility of alternative configurations of utility poles offered by the attacher, owner or joint owner of the retained older utility pole, any utility pole which is located within 12 feet of any other utility pole shall be presumed to be an unnecessary utility pole.
[Amended 12-18-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017]
WRITTEN NOTIFICATION or WRITTEN NOTICE
A writing directed to a representative of a public utility, who may be designated by the utility to receive such notice, sent by regular mail, certified mail, or electronic mail.
In 2012, the PSC issued an order requiring public utility companies and licensed attachers to utility poles to use the National Joint Utilities Notification System ("NJUNS") to monitor all facilities attached to utility poles and to notify licensed attachers and utility pole owners when their utility facilities must be transferred from a utility pole and when the responsible utility pole owner(s) must remove the replaced utility pole. The PSC may designate a successor to NJUNS in the future. The Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson shall maintain its current access to NJUNS or obtain access to its successor so that it may monitor the compliance of each public utility company and licensed attacher with the PSC's orders, rules, regulations, and guidance. All public utility companies and licensed attachers with utility poles or utility facilities in the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson must utilize NJUNS or its successor and comply with the PSC's orders, rules, regulations, and guidance regarding notification, facilities transfer or removal, and utility pole removal, as well as the requirements of this article to the extent they do not conflict with the PSC's orders, rules, regulations, and guidance.
A. 
The PSC's requirements regarding notification, facilities transfer or removal, and utility pole removal are hereby adopted by the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson. In addition, to the extent that the PSC does not currently mandate a time line for the transfer and removal of utility facilities from double wood poles and the removal of such double wood poles, the provisions of this article will govern.
B. 
Each public utility company and licensed attacher shall transfer or remove its facilities and/or remove its inactive or replaced utility pole within 30 days after receipt of notice through NJUNS or a successor notification system adopted by the PSC. Within one business day after a public utility company or licensed attacher transfers or removes its facilities from a utility pole, it shall update NJUNS or a successor notification system to document the completion of its transfer or removal in order to provide notice to the next public utility company or licensed attacher required to transfer its facilities and/or remove its inactive or replaced utility pole. The next public utility company shall transfer or remove its facilities and/or remove its inactive or replaced utility pole within 30 days after receipt of such notice. The last utility company is responsible to remove the second or double pole.
C. 
If the utility pole owner(s), the PSC, or the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson determines that an old or damaged utility pole poses a potential threat to public safety, the utility pole owner(s) shall use reasonable efforts to remove the unsafe condition within 24 hours of receiving notice of this determination.
D. 
Upon receipt of notice through NJUNS or a successor system of the existence of double poles adjacent to Village highways, streets, roads, and rights-of-way that predated the enactment of this article, the public utility companies and licensed attachers shall comply with the time frames set forth in Subsection A of this section regarding the transfer or removal of facilities from such preexisting double pole and the removal of the preexisting double pole itself. If the double pole poses a danger to public safety, then the time frame set forth in Subsection B of this section shall govern.
E. 
Each public utility company and licensed attacher must comply with the provisions of § 135-54 of this article or be subject to penalties as provided for in § 135-57 of this article.
A. 
When the Commissioner of Public Works observes through NJUNS that a licensed attacher or utility pole owner is not in compliance with the provisions of § 135-54, the Commissioner of Public Works shall provide written notice to the noncomplying licensed attacher(s) or utility pole owner(s) that the noncompliant condition must be rectified within seven business days. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties as provided for in § 135-57 of this article.
B. 
When the Commissioner of Public Works observes or receives a report from a public official or citizen that a utility pole adjacent to a Village highway, street, road or right-of-way is old or damaged and poses a potential threat to public safety, the Commissioner of Public Works shall provide written notice to the utility pole owner(s). The utility pole owner(s) may present documentary evidence to the Village in the form of a report from a licensed engineer certifying that the utility pole is not a threat to public safety within 10 days from the date of the Commissioner's notification. In the event that the Commissioner is satisfied that the utility pole no longer poses a threat to public safety, he shall have the discretion to withdraw the removal notice. If the utility pole owner is unable to present such required documentary evidence, the unsafe utility pole must be removed within 24 hours as required by § 135-54C.
C. 
When the Commissioner of Public Works determines that a double pole is located adjacent to a Village highway, street, road, or right-of-way, including double poles that preexisted the enactment of this article, the Commissioner of Public Works shall provide notice through NJUNS or a successor system adopted by the PSC. Failure to comply with the requirements of § 135-54D upon receipt of such notice may result in penalties as provided for in § 135-57 of this article.
A. 
Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, the Commissioner of Public Works may extend the time frame initiated by any written notice or notice through NJUNS as provided under this article for an additional period not exceeding the original statutory time frame set forth in this article. The public utility owner or licensed attacher shall make a request for an extension in writing to the Commissioner of Public Works prior to the expiration of the time frame initiated by the original written notice or notice through NJUNS, together with the basis for the request. The Commissioner of Public Works shall determine whether the request for extension should be granted or denied and provide a written response to the public utility company or licensed attacher. In such instances where the request is granted, the Commissioner of Public Works shall issue another written notice or notice through NJUNS, which shall then be applicable rather than the previously issued notice.
B. 
In the event of an emergency that affects the repair, replacement, removal, or installation of utility poles or utility facilities, the Village Mayor may temporarily suspend the deadlines in §§ 135-54 and 135-55 of this article for periods not exceeding 30 days.
A. 
Any public utility company, licensed or unlicensed attacher that fails to remove its utility facilities from an inactive or replaced utility pole within seven days of receiving notification from the Village pursuant to § 135-55A that it is in violation of the requirements of§ 135-54 may be fined up to $250 for each such violation. Each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this article, no such fines or penalties shall be assessed for violations of this article that occur within six months as a result of natural disasters, major weather events and similar circumstances affecting the Village.
B. 
Any utility pole owner that fails to remove a double pole within 90 days of receiving notification from the Village pursuant to § 135-55A that it is in violation of the requirements of § 135-54 may be fined up to $1,000 for each full calendar month that the violation continues.
C. 
Any person, firm, corporation, public utility company, licensed or unlicensed attacher convicted of a violation of the provisions of this article, other than those set forth in Subsections A or B above, shall be guilty of a violation for a first conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000; and for a second or subsequent conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000. Every day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
D. 
If any person, firm, corporation, public utility company, licensed or unlicensed attacher violates the provisions of this article, the Village Attorney may commence an action in the name of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking any remedy provided by law or equity, including any civil and/or injunction proceeding necessary to enforce compliance and/or enjoin noncompliance with this article. Such action may seek removal of damaged poles and/or double poles or removal of utility facilities from such poles, the imposition of civil penalties as authorized by this article, the recovery of costs of the action and such other remedies as may be necessary to prevent or enjoin a dangerous condition from existing on a Village highway, street, road, or right-of-way.
A. 
This article shall apply to all utility poles currently located adjacent to any Village highway, street, road, or right-of-way, and to all utility poles installed hereafter.
B. 
The provisions of this article shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations; and nothing in this article shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede, or replace existing remedies of the Village, county, or state or existing requirements of any other applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes, or regulations. In case of conflict between any provision of this article and any applicable state or local law, ordinance, code, or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.