PPL, Honesdale assess Main Street poles

By ELIZABETH LEPRO
Posted 12/21/21

HONESDALE — After a rusted light pole fell on a car on Honesdale’s Main Street November 19, PPL Electric Utilities will replace possibly 11 additional poles.

Paul Edwards had just …

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PPL, Honesdale assess Main Street poles

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HONESDALE — After a rusted light pole fell on a car on Honesdale’s Main Street November 19, PPL Electric Utilities will replace possibly 11 additional poles.

Paul Edwards had just pulled into a parking spot near the Wayne Bank and was still inside his vehicle when one of the light poles lining the street fell onto the hood of his car, damaging the front hood and fender. Edwards was not hurt. PPL, the company responsible for the utility poles, cleared the pole and will be liable for the costs associated with the incident.

The base of the fallen pole was visibly rusted. Edwards noted that several others along the street are leaning and showing clear signs of age.

Greater Honesdale Partnership (GHP) had just decorated the light poles with the usual Christmas trees. Its director, Lisa Burns, said in a borough meeting that decorations from eight poles were removed immediately after the accident, in case they were contributing to strain.

The poles will be replaced in the coming weeks and PPL will foot the bill, said the company’s representative Alana Roberts.

“We are currently working to obtain the proper permits as well as planning when we will be replacing the poles identified through our review,” she said.

In a discussion at the Honesdale Borough meeting December 6, council members noted that a new agreement with PPL means more oversight on decorations and usage.

Burns said it typically costs $1,700 to put the Christmas trees up and another $1,700 to take them down. Nonprofit groups that want to display banners or flags on the poles in the future will likely have to pay more—“thousands of dollars,” said borough secretary Judy Poltanis—to PPL for permission and permitting.  

Incoming mayor Derek Williams said he wants to initiate a plan for mapping certain infrastructure within the borough, including light poles and crosswalks. “From what I can tell by walking around and seeing rust on every pole, there is no upkeep other than just replacing what’s broken,” he said.

“It’d be great to have a platform to easily input and review information that can make it easier to do maintenance work,” Williams, who is a senior planner with the county, added. He said he looks forward to working with the Department of Public Works on this project in the future.

“There’s a legit safety concern here,” he added. “When tall things in public spaces start falling over, we should act.”

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