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Editorial: Finishing touches

Posted: September 24, 2018 4:01 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2018 1:00 a.m.

We are pleased to see so many beautification and infrastructure improvement projects coming to fruition. No doubt, everything from Project Blackhawk -- a multi-phase, multi-year project to relocate utility lines underground in areas of downtown Camden -- to the truck bypass will only add to the beauty and quality of life of our community.

That is, they will if one final task can be completed: removal of all those now-empty utility poles. Over the past several months, we have heard from area residents who all ask the same very important  question: who is responsible for taking down all those poles, and when are they going to do it? After all, it seems like a colossal waste of time and treasure to go to the trouble of putting all those lines and wires and conduit and such underground if we’re just going to keep the poles exactly where they are, like so many creosote-frosted branchless palm tree trunks.

Surely, that is not what the city of Camden intended.

In making inquiries, we have made little official headway in finding an answer. The city of Camden has indicated that it does not own the utility poles, therefore it cannot remove them. As near as anyone can seem to pinpoint it, the poles belong to AT&T, which appears to have no plan or timeline for removing them and minimal interest in coming up with a concrete plan to do so, at least any time soon.

We have also heard a few annoyed residents, some of whom are older retirees, talk about sneaking out in the middle of the night with chainsaws to deal with the problem directly. After all, they reason (hopefully tongue in cheek), what is anyone really going to do to an elderly, but irate chainsaw-wielding grandparent?

We, of course, chuckle in good humored sympathy, but obviously do not recommend committing property crimes. Instead, we suggest people start contacting AT&T, as frequently as possible, to request that the company remove their now unused -- and unsightly -- property, immediately, if not sooner.

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