Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Utility-pole fight waning

For now, Cox Road can be widened

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A partial agreement has been reached in a utility-pole dispute, allowing widening of Cox Road to proceed.

        But further litigation between Butler County and a utility company is possible, officials said Tuesday.

        Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. has agreed to move a series of utility poles on Cox Road between Tylersville and Hamilton-Mason roads, said Steve Brash, CG&E spokesman.

        However, Mr. Brash said, CG&E could still sue over the cost of moving the poles — several hundred thousand dollars, officials have said.

        As a result of the agreement, a court hearing set for Tuesday was canceled, and the county engineer's office was moving ahead with its plans.

        “I would take this to be good news, because it means a much-needed project can move forward now,” said Chris Petrocy, spokesman for the engineer's office.

        Construction is scheduled to begin in January and should be completed by August, Mr. Petrocy said.

        Engineer Greg Wilkens had said he feared the dispute could curtail or unnecessarily delay the project.

        The county commissioners had filed suit against the company three weeks ago, asking a judge to order CG&E to move its poles.

        The lawsuit cited a 1989 permit allowing the company to install the poles, but reserving the county engineer's right to order their relocation.

        No one on Tuesday was able to say when the poles would be moved.

        Mr. Brash said CG&E officials hope to begin work by the end of the month and to complete work by February.

        The $6.8-million project includes widening of Cox from two lanes to five, plus turn lanes, as well as improvements to Tylersville.

        It has been in the works for more than a decade, and has taken on added importance because of large developments — a mall and medical complex — in the Tylersville-Cox area.


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