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Carmel Files Complaint Over Duke Energy
City of Carmel
One Civic Square
Carmel, IN 46032
|Date:||January 14, 2021|
|Contact:|| Nancy Heck,
Carmel files complaint against Duke Energy over utility relocations
Carmel, IN – The City of Carmel has filed a complaint against Duke Energy with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) over a dispute regarding utility pole relocations within two city road projects – the reconstruction of Guilford Road south of Main Street and the Multi-Use project on 126th Street between Keystone Parkway and Hazel Dell Parkway. In both cases, the City is seeking to prevent Duke, after decades of practice, claiming now that they do not have to move out of the right-of-way for a sidewalk or bike path in violation of the statute that requires them to. The City of Carmel is asking the IURC to order Duke to comply with city ordinances and agreements regarding the relocation of utility infrastructure and to pay the costs associated with the relocation.
In 2017, the City adopted an ordinance requiring utility companies to bury utility lines when installing new infrastructure or relocating existing facilities. The ordinance also prohibited new above ground utility poles, except in cases where the City grants an exception, such as where the cost to do such work would be too high or otherwise too complicated. Along Guilford Road, the City requested Duke bury utility lines and infrastructure and erect no new poles. Duke refused to comply and instead asked the city to modify its road project so the utility infrastructure could remain in place. After some consideration, the City agreed to a mix of both underground and above ground utilities – but there is still work to be done. On the 126th Street project, the City agreed to allow above ground infrastructure, but there is a dispute over who pays for the relocation costs. In order for both projects to proceed, the City agreed to pay 50 percent of the costs up front, which came to $560,641 for the Guilford Road Project and $30,211 for the 126th Street Trail Project.
The complaint asks the IURC to order Duke to complete the relocation of its facilities located within Carmel’s public right-of-way that interfere with the Guilford Road Project and the 126th Street Multi-Use Project in accordance with the City Ordinances and to order Duke to pay for the disputed relocation costs related to those projects in accordance with the Provisional Utility Relocation Cost Payment Agreement signed by both Parties.
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