St Thomas councillors concerned about 'hazardous' JPS poles
Shanna Monteith, Gleaner Writer
Councillors in the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation today raised concerns about the recent erection of two utility poles by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) at a section of Greenwall along the White Horses to Pamphret main road.
They say the poles are planted too close to the road, posing a serious risk to road users.
Speaking at the corporation's monthly meeting in Morant Bay, Councillor for the White Horses Division Hubert Williams described the presence of the light-posts as death traps.
“They are too close to the main and I suggest that they be removed and replanted within their original alignment. Our roadway is already dangerous and we don’t want to add to that,” Williams said.
“We already have to be swinging from potholes because of the bad roads. Don’t let it be that when a man swing, him swing into the posts,” he added.
Councillor for the Morant Bay Division Rohan Bryan echoed his concerns.
“I think JPS just made an easy run with us on this one. The posts are too far compared to where they were. I thought I was the only one who noticed but then I had people coming to me and complaining about them. The posts need to go back in line with the existing ones,” he said.
Noting the concerns, Mayor of Morant Bay Michael Hue said he will be writing to the National Works Agency for the mater to be investigated and addressed.
In addressing the matter, the JPS’ Operation and Service Manager in St Thomas Rayon Jarrett explained that power lines had to be relocated because there was an overhang of the vegetation on the embankment.
“The vegetation would frequently come in contact with the power lines and once that happens the power goes. So we chose to erect some taller poles to lift the conductors out of the reach of the vegetation so as to improve the reliability of the line section so there will always be power for the customers,” Jarrett explained.
He added, “However, I have heard the concerns and I will be making reference to our constructions regulations and also have dialogues with some of my superiors to see the best solution,”
“At the end of the day we really want to adhere to the rules as well as to address the concerns of citizens and primarily to ensure that there's always a reliable, constant power supply to customers,” he said.