Major utility and cable companies meet with City of Cleveland officials to fix low wires

CLELVELAND - "After your story, I received a significant number of emails and calls from residents and neighbors who were saying thanks for taking up the issue of low hanging wires, because It's been a long standing problem," said Cleveland City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli.

After our recent stories showing the problem of low hanging wires and cable lines all over Cleveland's neighborhoods , Brancatelli promised action and now he and city leaders appear to be delivering a solution.

"Our chairman of utilities committee Terrell Pruitt got the government affairs folks from AT&T, Time Warner Cable and First Energy together and talked about protocols we can do to address this problem," Brancatelli said.

Brancatelli said some of the lines are left hanging by demo crews demolishing vacant houses, and cable or satellite TV crews installing new lines, cutting and leaving the old lines dangling or draping sidewalks.

Safety experts advise everyone to treat all lines as if they're hot and can kill.

Neighbors are concerned that there are so many cable and phone lines are hanging low that kids could get used to seeing them , and someone is going to get hurt when live wires fall after a storm.

The wires are a hazard and an eyesore.

"We're looking at all the hanging lines that cause a visual negative impact as well as those that cause a hazard," Brancatelli said.

Brancatelli said crews from utility and cable companies are already in Cleveland trimming low hanging wires and cable lines on East 55th Street between Harvard and Fleet Avenues.

In addition to meeting with officials from the major utility and cable companies, Brancatelli followed up the meeting with a letter to city officials and representatives from the utility and cable companies.

Here is the letter Brancatelli sent:

Thank you all for taking the time to meet with Council President Kelley, Utility Chairman Pruitt and my self yesterday to discuss the issue of hanging, orphaned and abandoned wires along our public right of ways and sidewalks.  We are very pleased that all of your respective companies are willing to take on this issue to help clean up this mess left after the foreclosure crisis.

As agreed, we will have Marcelina Sladewska or a representative from the various departments send you the list of demolitions that have occurred under Mayor Jackson's administration and also the list of demolitions that have occurred from the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (County Landbank).  Further we will forward you the list of properties that are scheduled for demolition.

Going forward, we will be requesting our Building and Housing Department and the County Landbank send you lists on a regular basis of those properties that are vacant and abandoned and scheduled to be demolished.  Currently our Building and HOusing Department e-mails per our city codes, to the utility companies a list of abandoned properties and per our ordinance they are required to disconnect service.  

Your support in removing the phone and cable lines will help make our city safer so these potential hazardous conditions of hanging wires are removed and of course improve the appearance of our streetscapes.  I understand you will have a large backload to catch up with and will systematically approach this problem to work this into a neighborhood by neighborhood clean up.  Also, thank you for your offer to have Council members call you directly when they see new problems arise.  

We appreciate the overall cooperation and collaboration of all our utility and service providers in our City and value our working relationships.

Thanks again

Tony Brancatelli
Councilman, Ward 12
City of Cleveland

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