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Jun 11, 2018 4:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County Joins Fight Against Monster Poles In Eastport.

Poles lining County Road 51 in Eastport. FILE PHOTO
Jun 12, 2018 2:05 PM

The Suffolk County Legislature has joined the fight against the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island regarding the installation of more than 200 steel utility poles stretching from Riverside to Eastport.

On June 5, the County Legislature adopted a resolution authorizing Suffolk County Attorney Dennis M. Brown to file a “friend of the court” brief supporting Brookhaven Town’s position in its lawsuit against LIPA and PSEG.

Brookhaven Town officials sued LIPA and PSEG last July, arguing that the utility failed to properly notify and include the town and its residents in its siting process of the new poles and that the court never addressed the public nuisance aspect the poles would have.

“It’s just a way for us to say we fully support the lawsuit,” said County Legislator Rudy Sunderman’s chief of staff, Tim Ruthang.

In a press release last week, County Legislator Bridget Fleming, who sponsored the legislation, said that “the residents clearly were not considered and now must live with the consequences.”

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

“These poles don’t look historic to me—not in any sense,” said Jim Gleason, vice president and director of the East Moriches Property Owners Association.

Last week’s press release referred to the death of Matthew Hillebrand of Babylon, who veered into a pole at an intersection on County Road 51 and died later in the day at Stony Brook University Hospital of injuries he suffered in the crash.

Ms. Fleming added that the poles, which replaced 195 wood poles along both County Road 51 and Eastport Manor Road between Riverside and Eastport, will continue to threaten the area.

“The massive steel utility poles pose a serious health risk to motorists and create an unsafe burden upon the community,” Ms. Fleming said. “These major infrastructure projects need to be implemented in a way that is both safe for our residents and serving our community’s interest. Right now, the massive steel utility poles do neither of those things.”

The East Moriches Property Owners Association, the Eastport Green Project and other local civic groups will bring their argument to the streets on Wednesday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m., at the intersection of Eastport Manor Road and Montauk Highway, or the Eastport firehouse if it rains.

The “Monster Poles Protest,” as it’s being called, “will publicly demonstrate to PSEG the resolve and commitment of the local communities to continue the fight to remove the monster poles,” Peter Kassebaum of Eastport said in a recent letter to the editor. “The monster poles must go.”

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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 (22), east quogue on Jun 12, 18 7:20 PM