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Aldermen Approve Sealed Bid Process For Poles

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Aldermen Approve Sealed Bid Process For Poles

Sparta Electric wants to replace at least seven wooden utility poles with steel poles in an attempt to improve reliability.

Aldermen approved taking sealed bids for the project Thursday night, because of the costs involved. Utility Manager Belva Bess said the city wants to budget for gradual replacements of the older infrastructure.

“Some of our main poles that do more than one circuit and that are in bad places,” Bess said. “That’s what we’re trying to get on this one, too. And then some reconducting on Moore Street where there’s some old copper wire. So that will be more reliability on that. So we won’t have as much downtime there on that.”

Bess said the utility does not have the manpower and equipment to install the steel poles. Mayor Jerry Lowery supported the replacements. He said the recent wind-event outage could have been much worse if not for a steel pole put in place several years ago.

“We were lucky that we had replaced a wood pole with a metal pole a couple years ago across the river,” Lowery said. “And the poles on the other side of them broke. That metal one stood firm. Otherwise, we would have had our electric lines going into the river the other day. And so that was smart that we did that.”

Lowery said a crew assisting the city during the outage pointed to a main pole in town made of wood. “If that one goes, then you’re shut off with no way to cut it off for awhile,” Lowery said.

“Eventually our infrastructure will just be sounder and better,” Bess said.

In other business, the aldermen approved the abandonment of some .12 acres on North Spring Street. It will be quitclaimed to adjoining property owners Michael Davis and Gerald Staggs. Aldermen also approved soliciting bids for repairing the town’s Christmas decorations.


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