Homeowner frustrated by delays in replacing dangerous utility pole

Jan 4, 2022, 6:34 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:32 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — If there was something dangerous at your home, you would want to work quickly to get it fixed. But a Cottonwood Heights woman contacted the KSL Investigators when she could not get the power company to fix a dangerous power pole in her backyard.

Make no mistake. Even if it is on your property, the power company is responsible to maintain their equipment — including lines and poles.

The power company admits the pole is a hazard — so why the slow fix?

“The pole is leaning against my fence, and it’s rotted at the bottom,” Barbara North said of the power pole in her backyard.

North is not just being paranoid. A utility crew told her the pole posed a hazard when they came out to trim back some branches around the power lines.

“Rocky Mountain Power came out and said it has to be replaced. That was in October, and they haven’t come back.”

North noted that she called the power company eight times since mid-October.

“And each time, they say, ‘Oh yes, we’ll have someone out there to do it,’ and no one comes,” she said. “I want the pole replaced so that it’s safe to live around here.”

Utah Public Service Commission codes clearly spell out that it is up to the utility company to “install, maintain, operate, repair, remove, replace” their poles. In fact, if you have one in your yard, you cannot keep the utility company out, even if you wanted to.

But North does not want to keep Rocky Mountain Power out of her yard — she wants them to come in and do the work.

The KSL Investigators reached out to the power company’s spokesman to ask about all this. He did not want to talk about it on camera, but through text messages, he blames the weather.

“So, it appears that the pole was scheduled to be replaced on Wednesday (December 15),” read one of the texts — which was the same day as a major snow storm. “The storm hit, thereby creating an unexpected challenge.”

“With all the snow on, you can’t see it, but it’s rotted out at the bottom,” North said.

Barbara North talks to KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt about the problem with the power pole in her backyard.

That storm bumped her down the list by more than a month. The pole now is not scheduled to be replaced until late January.

North cannot do much now except to hope it stays up.

“It’s a danger to those people and it could be a danger to me,” she said.

Rocky Mountain Power’s spokesperson denies that “the pole isn’t rotting or failing,” but admits that it is “old and needs replacing.”

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Prosecutors filed felony charges in a Salt Lake City rape case from 2019, but later reduced them to...

Daniella Rivera

Could making this change help Utah improve sexual assault prosecutions?

Only a fraction of sexual assaults reported to police in Utah result in criminal charges for the perpetrator, but a legislative proposal could potentially change that.

22 hours ago

FILE: construction zone...

Matt Gephardt

How to avoid hiring a bad contractor

Bobby Main investigates contractors for Utah's Division of Professional Licensing, here's his advice for avoiding bad contractors.

23 hours ago

Dave Donegan showing Matt Gephardt the items that were broken in his move....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

How liable is a moving company if your stuff gets damaged?

Dave Donegan’s home was just about to go into renovation, so he hired a moving and storage company to hold onto his household goods while work was underway.

5 days ago

A carbon monoxide detector. These standalone devices can help as an extra precaution, but Utah scho...

Annie Knox, Emiley Dewey and Daniella Rivera

Classroom carbon monoxide: Detectors are required, so why aren’t they in every school?

Utah took a big step a decade ago to keep schoolchildren safe from carbon monoxide. How well is the state living up to that promise.

8 days ago

FILE - The Amazon app is seen on a smartphone, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa. (AP ...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps solve Amazon misdelivery mystery for Manti man

Most of us are ordering more and more things online, and it's sometimes frustrating with things like an Amazon misdelivery mystery.

14 days ago

Scrolling social media, Joyce Lake spotted an ad for a doll. However, not only did the doll not sho...

Matt Gephardt

Imposters are using trust in law enforcement to scam Utahns

Scrolling social media, Joyce Lake spotted an ad for a doll.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Homeowner frustrated by delays in replacing dangerous utility pole