By Steve Plunkett
A couple of dozen Comcast customers are holding up completion of Gulf Stream’s tortured project to bury overhead utility lines.
Town commissioners were stunned to learn on May 14 that the cable TV/internet provider needed more time to pull down its overhead lines.
“Another three months and we should pretty much have this wrapped up,” Comcast representative Steve Rosa told them.
Mayor Scott Morgan was clearly frustrated, noting that Rosa said five or six months ago that his crew was almost done.
“AT&T, which was far behind Comcast, has totally completed their work and removed their lines,” he said. “Comcast has been dragging its feet ever since you told us you were about ready to finish.”
The agreed-upon schedule called for Rosa’s workers to disconnect customers who had not set up new underground accounts by March 31. Instead, Rosa said, Comcast had continued efforts to get them to switch from their old overhead-line accounts.
Also, unexpected problems occurred.
“I found a fiber optic that goes to the police station that nobody has a record of,” Rosa said.
Commissioners told Town Manager Greg Dunham to insist that Comcast disconnect the lines from the homes of the laggards and finish removing its lines as soon as possible.
Dunham said he also has to coordinate with Florida Power & Light Co. to take down the telephone poles once Comcast is done.
As recently as mid-March, Morgan said he was “hopeful that sometime in May — or June at the latest” the overhead wires and poles would be gone. Residents originally thought the utility lines would be buried and the poles removed in 2012.
In other business, Dunham said he would revive a “tree farm” behind Town Hall to nurture Australian pine seedlings. Once the seedlings are at least 3 years old they could replace any of Gulf Stream’s treasured Australian pines that become diseased or damaged, he said.
By Steve Plunkett