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February 26, 2014

Gov Taking Pole Problem Seriously



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Governor Andrew Cuomo's office is "taking it seriously," Supervisor Larry Cantwell informed last Thursday night. In the wake of an outcry from area residents about new, tremendous utility poles PSEG is installing along a route from East Hampton Village to a substation in Amagansett, Cantwell and Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach wrote Cuomo seeking his intercession.

Both asked the governor to stop the project while the feasibility of burying the lines underground can be analyzed.

Writing to Cuomo, Cantwell called the project comprised of constructing a six-mile overhead transmission line built to 33-kilovolt standards and replacing existing 28 to 38 foot poles with ones measuring over 60 feet tall "a travesty."

During the public portion of last week's town board meeting he told McGuirk Street residents, "The governor's office acknowledged this is an issue they will take a look at."

A trio of McGuirk Street residents -- John and Wendy Geehring and Lynn Brown – appeared before the board to express appreciation for the town board's support in what former town councilwoman Deb Foster characterized as a "David & Goliath" fight.

Listing her years as an elected official and environmental advocate, Foster, who became tearful as she spoke, said, "I haven't spent 40 years to see this slice through the heart of the community." Wendy Geehring opined the proximity of the huge poles to the road creates a safety issue, while John Geehring emphasized, "Time is of the essence."

David Buda of Springs said he found the sight of the huge poles "very frightening." He'd like a map of the route publicized so people can see how the aesthetic of the community is going to be "radically" affected.

Brown said members of the civic group Save East Hampton: Safe Responsible Energy for All haven't slept in three weeks, since the work and their opposition began "and we're not going to stop."

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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