Neighbors Had Objected To Possibility Of 80-Foot 'Monster Poles'

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday night that PSEG Long Island has agreed to keep new electrical cable underground in Garden City, rather than erecting what some critics have called “monster poles.”

Residents at the end of Brook Street in Garden City had protested this weekend over fears that 80-foot poles would be mounted near their homes.

A meeting on the subject was held Wednesday night, and PSEG officials announced that after hearing concerns from residents and elected officials, they had called off plans to build the poles along Commercial Avenue and will keep the cable underground instead.

“I’m pleased that PSEG has listened to our concerns and decided to do the right thing,” Rice said in a statement. “If we learned anything from Sandy, it’s that we need to be making it a priority to harden our infrastructure. We need to be making smart investments in resiliency and emergency preparedness, not trying to cut costs when it comes to the security of our communities. We made that very clear to PSEG and I appreciate the fact that they listened.”

PSEG spokesman Jeffrey Weir defended the proposed poles this past Saturday. He said they would be installed in an industrialized and commercial area, not through Garden City neighborhoods.

“The poles in question – they’re stronger, and they’re more storm-resistant, and they’re able to withstand a wind up to 130 miles an hour, which is far greater than anything experienced during Superstorm Sandy,” Weir said.

Resident Michelle Webber said it’s a victory for the little guys.

“Absolutely and that is a good thing in today’s world to be able to join together to do something positive, it’s a good thing,” she told WCBS 880’s Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

New lines must be constructed to replace a damaged underground cable.

Several other Long Island communities are also trying to stop installation of the poles.