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Jun 28, 2018 1:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Eastport Community, Lawmakers Vow To FIght 'Monster' Poles Until They Are Removed

Sharon Adans stands at the corner of Montauk Highway and Eastport-Manor Road on Wednesday to protest the
Jul 3, 2018 1:44 PM

The theme of a protest last week, made up of community members and officials fighting to have the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island remove more than 200 steel utility poles installed last year along a stretch from Riverside to Eastport, was: “Monster Poles Must Go.”

The demonstration, held at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Eastport Manor Road in Eastport, drew more than 100 people.

Brookhaven Town officials filed suit against LIPA and PSEG last July, arguing that the utility failed to properly notify and include the town and its residents in the siting process of the new poles, and that the public nuisance aspect of the poles was never considered. Southampton Town later joined the suit.

Eastport residents claim that the 211 metal poles, which replaced 195 wooden poles and range in height from 70 to 110 feet tall, are unsightly in a historic district.

“I find them very offensive,” Gene Siller of Remsenburg said. “They really destroyed the character of the community.”

Several local lawmakers, including State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico, and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, spoke on behalf of the community, stressing that they were willing to fight until the poles have been removed and the existing 69-kilovolt overhead transmission circuit lines are buried underground.

“This is a company that has desecrated our historic district,” Mr. Romaine said. “We will not give up this fight.”

Mr. Thiele explained that a bill he sponsored, which requires LIPA and PSEG to provide notice to local government bodies prior to completing any environmental study under the guidelines of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, passed the State Senate and Assembly last month and awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature.

To help push the legislation along, 151 protesters signed a petition, provided by members of the Southampton Sustainability Committee, urging the governor to sign the legislation. The committee’s goal is to get 5,000 signatures before sending the petition to the governor, according to Southampton Town Director of Communications Connie Conway.

“We need to keep the pressure on the governor,” Mr. Thiele said. “We want these poles down, and we want them down now.”

“We’re in this until these lines get into the ground,” added Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni, who attended the rally along with Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Councilwoman Julie Lofstad.

MaryAnn Johnson, president of the Affiliated Brookhaven Civic Organization, argued: “We have the right to remain rural, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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Those are hurricane poles. They are a necessity.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 28, 18 1:17 PM
Historic District? The Triangle, Olish's Farm Stand, old Post Office, and new strip mall in the historic district? If you include bad construction from the 70's and early 80's is that the historic district? Is the electrical substation near the old Cappys considered historic too?
By Baymen87 (135), Lugoff, SC on Jun 28, 18 2:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
You want to bury the lines......simple: Write the check.

By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 8:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bring back the beauty? Are we talking about the same run down Eastport? A big pole can't ruin something that is already ruined.
This is a perfect example of people who have nothing else to do but complain. They are also the first people who would complain about power outages after a hurricane and blame PSEG for not restoring power quick enough.
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Jun 29, 18 1:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
Because you're not paying attention, I will educate you. There is a group called the Eastport Green Project who have established a community garden, planted flowers on Main St. and have been advocating for the general clean up of "run down Eastport". What have you done for your community lately?

While a necessity, the people of Brookhaven Town and the hamlet of Eastport should have been consulted before these poles went up. And if there was a reason why these lines could not have been ...more
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jun 29, 18 9:09 AM
Because you're not paying attention I will educate you, (what a condescending opening) Utilities have the right to build what they want in their easements.

They are not required to gather the communities permission.

They are not required to spend millions burying lines because you dont like them.

The same people who are complaining about the lines not being buried would be the same people complaining about the roads being cut open to bury the lines and the disruption ...more
By Baymen87 (135), Lugoff, SC on Jul 2, 18 9:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
Why would they need to "consult" with anyone outside of their company? They provide a service to the community and as a private company they do not need to consult anyone. This whole metal pole issue is just another thing for people with nothing to do to complain about. Where was the protest as they were going up? PS&G has the right to use whatever they want to use to ensure the complainers have power. This whole pole issue is just absolutely ridiculous and a complete waste of time.
By yanks27titles (15), eastport on Jul 9, 18 9:56 AM
... do what they did in East Quogue, simply add another pole right next to an existing pole. Twice as many poles supporting the same lines as before, resulting in lost sight lines for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Cant discount the beauty they provide to the hamlet, as well.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jun 29, 18 3:12 PM
I bet these are the people that are the first to bitch and moan when the lights go out because a rotten old wooden pole broke and took the wires down with it.
By bmr80 (35), east quogue on Jun 29, 18 4:42 PM
Typical comments here.

Know and do nothings complaining about people who seek to make change. Whether you agree or disagree with these people you should at least acknowledge that they are attempting to do something.
And please don't reply to tell me that you think what this group is doing is without value....that doesn't matter. What matters is that those who want something done actually do something about it. If you don't like it then you can choose to do something about it. (posting ...more
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Jun 29, 18 8:13 PM
... there shouldnt be any "rotten old wooden" poles in service to begin with.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jul 1, 18 10:58 AM
Hey, in Southold PSEG came through the historic village like Sherman's army and literally, without notice, cut trees in half above the trunks. They did this to leave space for electrical lines and disregarded the fact that some species of trees have deep root systems with branches that aren't susceptible to high winds. This mutilation, particularly of the side streets, was outrageous. One man threw the tree crew off his property and called the police and the press. An authority at PSEG's maintenance ...more
By kvetch (14), Southold on Jul 3, 18 4:13 PM