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Double Utility Poles Spark Complaints From Long Island Homeowners

NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The Kim family of Glen Head speaks for many on Long Island's North Shore: "I think there are too many power poles."

As CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan, homeowners living in a five-mile stretch of Nassau County between Great Neck and Port Washington are in an uproar after new 80-foot utility poles were erected but the old, shorter towers remained.

PSEG Long Island installed the new hurricane-proof poles -- twice as tall as their predecessors -- to withstand another storm like Sandy.

But on block after block, the decommissioned poles have yet to be removed. Citizens' groups have protested, calling what has been left behind an unneeded eyesore.

"It would make sense to replace these older poles and clear the way so we don't have another catastrophe as we did with Sandy," one Manhasset homeowner said.

Despite that public utilities are pledging to cooperate, North Hempstead is leaving nothing to chance. At its meeting Tuesday, the Town Board will consider legislation requiring that the old poles be removed.

With fines and lawsuits on the line, representatives from PSEG, along with television, telephone and Internet companies plan to attend the public hearing.

"They would very much not like us to be doing the legislation and have said that they will work cooperatively with us," North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth told McLogan.

PSEG said the old towers cannot come down until after telecommunications companies such as Verizon and Cablevision transfer their lines to the new poles.

"That is a concern for us, and double woods are definitely an eyesore for our community," said PSEG Long Island spokesman Jeff Weir. "And we don't deem a project complete until the double woods are gone."

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