Short power pole couldcost Nebo thousands

Richard Burkard/The Messenger

Children play Thursday in a park behind Nebo's Community Building. A nearby power pole for lighting part of the area was declared unsafe by Kentucky Utilities.

Nebo celebrated a newly lit public area during its Fall Festival in September. But that section of town now is in nighttime darkness again.

The reason? Not brightness, but height.

"The pole wasn't tall enough," Mayor Karen Lantrip said Thursday.

Lantrip said Kentucky Utilities disconnected the power behind and near the Community Building a couple of weeks ago, because a wooden pole didn't meet its requirements. The town will have to pay for a replacement.

"It has to be 20 feet tall," Lantrip said. "Four feet under and 16 feet above (ground)."

Three poles placed by the town before the festival appear shorter than that. They were still up Thursday afternoon, with no wires attached. The main pole for the pavilion and walking trail is only a couple of feet taller than a nearby children's play set.

A spokesman for Kentucky Utilities calls it a matter of safety.

See Nebo/Page A6

"We require at least 15 feet of field clearance," Daniel Lowry said Thursday from Lexington. Otherwise, someone could be at risk of electrical shock, he said.

"The city set the pole," Lowry said. "They should know the regulations and the rules."

He added that Kentucky Utilities is willing to help Nebo if the town has questions about specifications.

Lantrip said she didn't know exactly how tall the main pole is. She described the others in the park area as temporary.

The disconnection was one of the topics at Monday's Nebo City Council meeting. Lantrip said she does not know how much a new regulation pole will cost. But it won't be cheap, especially for a town of that size.

"It cost right at $10,000 for the lights and the pole," the mayor said.

At least one other part of Nebo is brighter and should stay that way. Lantrip said new LED lighting has been installed above the gymnasium inside the Community Building. It replaces lights from the era of the 1960s or earlier.

Another replacement project in Nebo right now involves Union Cemetery. "We have almost enough (money) to fix the cemetery wall," Lantrip said, after a section fell during the summer.

Repairing the stone sections will cost $5,000. Lantrip said about $3,600 has been raised so far, and she hopes public donations will cover the rest.

Donations may be made online at: Gofundme.com/nebo-ky-union-cemetery-fund.

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