Public Forum on Oversized Utility Poles to be Held January 18th

On January 18, 2010, the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department (WMGLD) will host a public forum in response to widespread complaints and criticism of its recent installation of oversized, rectangular utility poles at Colonel Connelly Park located at the head of Lake Quannapowitt.

Colonel Connelly Park and the neighboring Gertrude Spaulding Park encompass newly created green space that is the result of a decade’s worth of public and private support to beautify the head of the lake. The addition of the utility poles has caused considerable and understandable anxiety among important stakeholders, including those who built the parks, those who funded their development, and those who enjoy the many benefits that these parks offer.

For reasons not readily apparent, public notice was absent prior to the installation of the unsightly poles, which now loom over monuments, play areas, greenery and walkways. Even the previously high-flying flag on its brand new flagpole is dwarfed by the poles. While it is unclear why public process was not utilized to ensure the protection of such precious park space, what is clear is that the additional services necessitating the installation of larger utility poles are to benefit a single commercial tenant, a San Francisco technology firm, that will be renting space in a nearby office building.

WMGLD has offered to host a public forum to discuss the addition of the poles at the head of the lake and to provide an opportunity to hear from concerned citizens regarding their impact on such a highly regarded area. This meeting is an important first step in airing concerns, obtaining answers to lingering questions and working towards a satisfactory resolution that will remove this blight from our newly renovated parks.

FOLQ, whose mission is to preserve the beauty of the lake and its surrounding areas, is asking concerned individuals, businesses and abutters to participate in this initial public forum. Because strength is in the numbers, we strongly encourage your attendance, but you should not feel pressured to speak unless you feel like it. Your physical presence is a message in itself.

The forum is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the first floor conference room at Wakefield Town Hall (the first room to your right upon entering the building), located at 1 Lafayette Street. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the meeting venue or accommodations, we encourage you to contact WMGLD at (781) 246-6363.

If you are unable to attend in person, but would still like to contribute, you may submit your commentary to FOLQ through our contact page or by calling us at (781) 979-2400. Representatives will be on hand to present your comments at the meeting.

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