Town moves to protect streets

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PENDLETON — Pendleton town manager Scott Reske said he was speaking with a gas company representative some time ago who mentioned offhandedly there were plans to run new lines down Water Street.

After finding out the company intended to start its project six months after the town finished its current Water Street rebuild, Reske said he let them know there was a problem.

“You’re not going to come in six months after we’ve redone the street (and tear it up),” Reske said.

With that, the company has moved up its work schedule, so that it will coincide with the town’s work, Reske said.

To formalize that kind of protection of town infrastructure, the town council is working on updating rules for right-of-way permits and standards for street repair, Reske said.

He said in the ordinance there are new requirements, such as “if they damage a street enough, they have to replace that section of street,” not just repair it.

Also, if the tear up sidewalks, they will have to replace the whole section (either between driveways or between a driveway and street corner/end).

The ordinance — which Reske said passed a council vote in June and will be before the council again in a revised form at 6 p.m. today, Thursday, July 8, at Town Hall — also includes fees, fines and penalties for non-compliance.

It applies anyone doing work in a right-of-way.

Reske said one main goal is to get companies to plan their large projects with the town, preferably two to three years in advance.

It would behoove them to do so, Reske said, since it could save them the cost of making the street look as nice as it did before their work.