GLENVILLE -- National Grid has agreed to relocate a set of utility poles that town officials say mars the appearance of the Town Center green at state Route 50 and Glenridge Road.
The poles, installed less than three years ago as the town was in the midst of creating its "Town Center" area, dwarf an ornamental Victorian-style clock tower the town installed at the corner, as well as a community message board.
"We really want to beautify the Town Center, and those poles were only placed there two, two-and-a-half years ago," said Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle.
Utility lines will be moved away from the green and buried for a stretch between Route 50 and the eastern property line of the First National Bank of Scotia, with a new overhead line installed between the bank and the U.S. Post Office. The one-acre green is owned by the bank, which allows it to be used for community purposes.
"This is a multiyear discussion finally coming to the point where people are comfortable," said Koetzle, who led the negotiations for the town.
The Town Board approved agreements Wednesday that will result in utility customers paying $82,393 for the relocation and burial of the utilities -- a charge will be added to all utility bills. When those charges would appear, and whether the cost would be spread over several bills, had not been determined as of last week. The billing method is allowed by the state's Public Service Commission.
An additional $41,779 will be charged for construction of the new overhead lines, but that cost will be split between the First National Bank of Scotia and the town. Koetzle said the town already has budgeted for its share -- approximately $21,000. That price includes National Grid giving the town a nearly $50,000 credit on the actual cost of the project.
"The relocation is being performed at the town’s request to aid in its beautification and revitalization efforts," said National Grid spokesman Nathan Stone. "Work will commence once a formal agreement is signed and payment is received. National Grid will endeavor at all times to minimize the impact to the town and customers served by this line during construction."
Once the poles are moved -- which Koetzle hopes will be this fall -- the town would like to consider new options for the green, including possibly planting a large pine that could serve as a community Christmas tree.
Between a $2.3 million state Department of Transportation road reconstruction project to add sidewalks and the town's $225,000 purchase of decorative street lights, Koetzle estimated $2.5 million in public money has been invested over the past three years to create the Town Center, in addition to spending by private businesses.
During the road-widening project, a large pine that stood at Route 50 and Glenridge was removed, and town officials made plans for the decorative clock, only to have National Grid erect the new poles, Koetzle said.
"It was all because the road was widened," he said.