YOUR INFORMATION NEWSLETTER FROM NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
PAUL G. BUESCHER
~ KEEPING NCT RESIDENTS INFORMED SINCE 2005 ~
#536 MONDAY JULY 30, 2018
WOW CABLE CONSTRUCTION UPDATE FOR ROLLING BROOKE
~ BRANDYWINE PRESERVE IS NEXT! ~
The ongoing construction work by WOW cable contractors in the Rolling Brooke area has produced a number of complaints and concerns from area residents. These have mainly included lack of communications, torn up lawns, illegal dumping of debris into area streams and trespassing on private property.
I have personally visited the area quite a few times to see things for myself, including this past weekend. I also took time to talk with many residents, including chance encounters and stopping at the homes of those who complained by email who also included their addresses so that I could follow up.
The following is a compilation of some of the questions and comments that I have received followed by my fact-based responses and answers:
QUESTION> Why weren’t we informed that all this was going to happen in our neighborhood?
ANSWER > Everyone who receives the local newspaper and my newsletter should have known that a new cable company (WOW) was coming to town. What none of us knew was when or where construction work was going to begin. The Township was caught off guard just like everyone else. Since then, WOW has promised to keep us better informed.
QUESTION> Can the workers dig or do their other work on private property?
ANSWER > NO they cannot! However, WOW is a public utility and as such, they have every legal right to dig and do other work on utility easements. Unfortunately, most of the easements in the Rolling Brooke area are in the middle of front yards and/or within 25-feet of the road.
QUESTION> Why are all those colored flags all over everyone’s yards. Is this where they’re going to dig?
ANSWER > By law, everyone planning to excavate or dig on private or public property are required to contact the “CALL BEFORE YOU DIG” folks prior to any work. These people flag the locations of other buried utility pipes and cables to prevent damages to those utilities. The flags do not necessarily indicate where digging is to take place. They simply indicate where ALL buried utilities are located.
QUESTION> Those flags have been up for a long time and I am tired of them. Can I remove or move them?
ANSWER > NO you cannot. And if you do and there is subsequent damage done or a worker gets hurt then you could face possible criminal and civil legal action(s) against you.
QUESTION> I know of neighbors who have buried “invisible” dog fence wires and buried sprinkler heads and lines. Who is responsible if these get damaged during all of this work?
ANSWER > If any of those lines are buried within the utility easement area, then the responsibility rests entirely with the homeowner.
QUESTION> WOW has damaged my lawn. Will they fix it and when?
ANSWER > WOW posted a $40,000 bond with our Township for damages and restoration. Remember, this is a construction project and some damage is to be expected. Please wait until the installation and work is completed before complaining about damages, especially to lawns. Our Zoning Inspector and Service Department personnel will make final inspections and take the appropriate actions for damage and restoration resolution.
QUESTION> I was told that one of my expensive decorative trees might have to be cut down. Can they do this and if they do, who will pay for its replacement?
ANSWER > If the tree is on the easement or has grown into it and is in the way of their construction work then yes, they can remove it. If you want to replace it then the expense is on you. I would suggest that if you replace it then you should keep it away from any easements or the same thing could happen in the future!
QUESTION> How come our Homeowner’s Association (HOA) hasn’t been involved in this WOW work? I haven’t heard anything from them! I would think that with all the money we pay them that they could have warned us about all this activity!
ANSWER > Whatever happens or does not happen between you and your HOA is entirely between you and them. The HOA and the management company that they employ oversee and regulate your common areas and other affairs that are outside the scope of the Township’s authority. All we as a Township can do is to tend to our specific responsibilities to help all of you to the best of our abilities and within our authority to do so.
QUESTION> I do not intend to use WOW cable so why should I let them dig up my yard? Don’t we the residents have any rights?
ANSWER > Sure you have rights on YOUR property. You do NOT have the right to deny your neighbors their right to chose their cable service. How would your neighbors be able to receive their utilities (water, gas, electric, phone, etc.) if you or anyone else with the same line of thinking would get their way? You do not have the right to stop utilities from using their legal easements to provide services to everyone.
In addition to these concerns, I strongly suggest that if the workers truly trespass on YOUR property then you have the responsibility to call the Sheriff’s Office. Likewise, if you see any workers dumping debris into the woods or streams on your common areas then you need to call both your HOA and the Sheriff’s Office. Also, residents can contact WOW directly by email with questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Folks, I’ve done my best to answer your concerns and questions in the hope of clearing up some misunderstandings and rumors. I know that you are experiencing some hardships but this is the nature of new construction. By this time next year, you will have forgotten all about it and might even be enjoying new digital services at a much hoped for lower rate!
FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE MISSING KEYS IN ROLLING BROOKE
Someone turned in a set of keys to the office. They were found in the Rolling Brooke Development. The key is for a Toyota and there is a bottle opener on it. There is also a few more identifying items on the ring. Not sure if you could maybe send this info out to your newsletter subscribers to see if they can be returned to the rightful owner. I know those key fobs for the cars are expensive to replace.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q >>> – My question is about sewer lines from the house to the street. I’m not sure how a township responds to a blocked toilet drain or locating a clean out in the line. One of the gentlemen plumbers that I talked to tonight mentioned that maybe I should check with our service department in respect to finding a hidden cleanout or other type of service provided, and if not our township than maybe the Summit County sewer department. I’m sending this email to you because you seem to have a handle on most of these situations. It’s hard for me to get around and climb steps so I hope you can guide me which way to go. If there is nothing to share than I can relate this back to the plumber.
A >>> – The sanitary sewer line coming from your house to the utility right-of-way is 100% your responsibility for cleaning out and other maintenance, including replacement. Our Service Department does not do any sanitary sewer work or any other work on private property. Your problem might be as simple as having Roto Rooter do a simple cleanout or as serious as having a collapsed pipe that needs to be replaced. I suggest that you hire a company that can clean your sewer line and has the capability to run a camera in it should a blockage be found that cannot be cleared.
Paul G. Buescher
Northfield Center Twp. – Trustee