As part of a project that it contends will provide needed upgrades to meet demand and decrease blackouts in the area, the utility began construction in July of the 65-foot poles, running 69,000 volts of electricity, along S. Maple, Spring and Hope.
The company has also installed the poles in Glen Rock as part of its plan to connect substations in Fair Lawn and Paramus.
officials, who said they were not notified of the project’s details prior to
construction, became involved after the project drew concerns from residents in
the area who felt the poles would cause safety and aesthetic issues in the
The company maintains that the poles pose no threat to public health or safety.
John Margaritis, a spokesperson for the utility, told Patch that the company has done similar work in over 30 other New Jersey municipalities, and that “individual towns have no jurisdiction” over the statewide project.
PSE&G’s legal argument is that it has “prior consent” from its installation of the older poles, and that municipalities need not approve the upgrade of the existing infrastructure.
“We still believe we are on very firm legal footing,” Margaritis said. “If every town had a say in every utility upgrading its infrastructure, nothing would ever get done.”
But village officials have argued that they, as well as residents, should have had more input and received adequate notice of the installations, which apparently caught the Ridgewood neighborhood off guard.
Aronsohn said that no date has been set for the public hearing before the board, which regulates utilities in the state, but could be held in Hackensack in early September. A moratorium already in place on new construction, he said, is expected to remain in place until the hearing.
“Since the beginning of this situation, our biggest complaint has been that [PSE&G] failed to properly and effectively involve Village officials and residents in the process,” Aronsohn wrote in an email. “My hope and expectation is that this BPU hearing will provide such an opportunity.”