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Locals to PSEGLI: ‘Stop the Project’

At a meeting in North Hempstead, residents aired concerns about a powerline project running from Port Washington to Great Neck.

It was standing room only at a Monday night meeting with PSEGLI at Harbor Links Clubhouse  in Port Washington. There, hundreds of residents implored officials to stop a $15 million powerline installation project that runs between Port Washington and Great Neck.

The project had taken the community by surprise when community members spotted the first 80-feet poles being installed in February.

Now, upset about "hacked trees" and safety concerns, they want the project stopped, and the permit pulled. Calls to that effect drew rounds of applause in the room.

“It’s a ‘pole uglification project,’” one resident told Dave Daly, PSEGLI's president and chief operating officer, who took questions from the audience.

The project extends five miles above ground, with one mile underground in the Thomaston section of Great Neck, where the property grade was too steep and the road too narrow to accommodate the poles PSEGLI officials said was 

Daly said the project was necessary to meet demand projected for the summer and to avoid outages. Officials also said the poles were safe even in storm winds of up to 130 miles per hour and that there were no conclusions that the poles posed any health hazards. 

Asked about installing the lines underground, Daly said PSEGLI would be willing to do so as long as there was a “mechanism to fund the project,” noting that it would cost four-to-five times more than the overhead poles.

One resident said she “would still take two weeks without power” as she had done in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy than live with the poles.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said at the beginning of the meeting that the town was looking at a feasibility plan to bury the wires under the guidance of an independent expert, and along with Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio, seeing what kind of federal aid would be available.

Meanwhile, the project is expected to be completed in May, though according to News 12, officials will consider “proposals to underground the lines after the project” is completed.

Learn more about the project here.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect that the cost of the project is $15 million. 
Josh March 27, 2014 at 09:40 AM
I see I have moved into a town with a mob mentality. Yes, it would be nice if the power lines were buried, but that would easily cost 5x as much. As for the trees, they will grow back. It's also the winter and while things seem bare now, leaves will be growing soon. Considering our utility rates and local taxes, there are many things I believe are more important than burying power lines. Your property values will not decrease because of this and it's better to deal with the devil you do (tall poles) than the devil you don't (the big dig).
bob young March 27, 2014 at 01:25 PM
Josh dawg! The cost would be 3x's. Even Daly said that when he accidentally slipped with numbers, and couldn't do simple arithmetic in his head. BTW, take a drive up Port Blvd towards main street, and tell me how those towering poles add to the aesthetics of the community. In my 25 years living here, there has only been one significant outage. BTW, if this ugly project is allowed to proceed, the tolerance for outages will be ZERO!
bob young March 27, 2014 at 01:26 PM
One other thing Josh, the so called "big dig" would not be big. Besides, don't we have underground sewers, gas lines and storm drains? Yes we do. BTW are you a member of the IBEW?
Arguendo March 27, 2014 at 01:32 PM
The 80-foot shafting we're getting will have almost ZERO impact on the number or duration of outages. The overwhelmingly vast majority of outages by numbers and by time out of service are failures in secondary and neighborhood distribution lines (or unannounced intentional shut-offs, which LIPA and PSEG are famous for), NOT primary feeders.
Arguendo March 27, 2014 at 01:35 PM
He's definitely not a member of the ditch digger's union.

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