on December 11, 2014 by test_editor in Archive_2014, December, Print Articles, Comments Off on December 11, 2014: Self-supporting Hydro Poles…; or $1 Million for nonsense?

December 11, 2014: Self-supporting Hydro Poles…; or $1 Million for nonsense?

December 11, 2014: Self-supporting Hydro Poles…;
Or $1 Million for nonsense?

By Cheryl Parrott.

Million Dollar self-supporting hydro poles! These $1 million self-supporting hydro poles have supporting guy wires – some of them quite elaborate structures, some just regular guy wires – but guy wires all the same.

In December 2013, former Councillor Katherine Hobbs walked a motion onto the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) agenda at City Hall. The motion was to borrow $1 million from the City-wide cash-in-lieu of parkland fund. This $1 million loan would be used to pay for upgraded selfsupporting hydro poles on Scott Street.

Apparently the need for the self-supporting poles was because guy wires are a ”decapitation hazard”. Perhaps we will see a few headless people in that area now with the new guy wires on the new poles.

These newly installed hydro poles are located on the north side of Scott from Bayview to Parkdale beside the Multi- Use Pathway (MUP). The poles have been placed just north of the present poles so that Scott Street can be widened to replace the transitway and accommodate the planned 2500 buses a day during the LRT construction.

Some of the new poles are a mere 3 feet north of the existing poles. The soon to be removed hydro poles were themselves all replaced within the last 10 years. Will they now be heading to landfill? Residents were told the poles had to be self-supporting because guy wires might decapitate pedestrians or cyclists using the MUP or crossing Scott Street. The cost to move the poles and still use guy wires was estimated to be $466,000, but $1 million would be needed for the self-supporting poles.

The motion passed at City Hall. The money borrowed for the self-supporting poles is to be repaid to the city-wide Cash-in-lieu of Parkland Fund as soon as funds come in from Section 37 benefits from future development in the “Scott Street district”. So, when the many highrises are built – the money goes to repay the City for these poles first, then eventually, it will go into fixing parks for our kids or developing new green space.

Apparently Ms Hobbs stated at an allcandidates meeting during the election this fall, that the pole relocation cost only $200,000. Why do these numbers jump all over – $466,000? $1 million? or $200,000? Which one is it, and from which budget did it come?

Residents asked why the funds for the relocation of these poles was not part of the LRT budget instead of being taken from future park improvement funds. The answer received – “It was not part of the LRT contract”. So all Kitchissippi residents bear the burden – park improvements wait – nice, new, “self-supporting” green hydro poles (with supporting guy wires) take precedent over the kids.

Scott Multi-use pathway looking east near Baysview with new and old poles close to each other on the right. Transitway overpass to the left
Photo Caption: One million dollars was borrowed from the Cash-in-lieu fund to provide these self-supporting hydro poles without guy wires. The poles were moved three feet and the guy wires have not disappeared. Neither has the bill. Photo By Cheryl Parrott

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