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Utility Pole Installation Taking An Expensive Toll On Owners Of Sandy-Damaged Homes In NJ

OCEAN BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey are running into an unexpected expense.

Many people affected by Sandy had to raise their homes to meet federal guidelines and some spent their savings on rebuilding. But now, they're being told they have to fork over thousands of dollars to a power company.

CBS2's Christine Sloan spoke to one family who said a pole problem is taking a toll on them.

Crews installed new utility poles in the Ocean Beach section of Toms River in New Jersey, right in front of Frank and Lauren Casquarelli's home on Moonrise Lane.

"(So you're replacing two poles?) I'm replacing two poles, one is on my property and one's on somebody else's property," Frank said.

Jersey Central Power and Light is forcing the couple to pay to replace the old poles, now too short with their home elevated. It puts them dangerously close to electric wires.

"It feels like I am getting piled on," Frank said.

The couple said to install the poles, it's going to cost them more than $10,000.

"I just think it's unfair," Lauren said.

As Sloan reported, they had to raise their home to meet FEMA guidelines.

"We were not planning for this and it's a big expense," Lauren said.

JCP&L said, "The company must construct and maintain its facilities to provide service in accordance with applicable regulations and codes."

"I went to town, got my permit, nobody told me I that was going to be in violation until I was in violation," Frank said.

The Casquarellis' neighbor has to spend even more money on a new pole.

The mayor of Toms River blames JCP&L, saying it should have warned residents when power was shut off for construction.

"It's not our fault because comes in to elevate the house we don't know where the poles are," Mayor Thomas Kelaher said.

The mayor is meeting with the Board of Public Utilities to get some answers for neighbors who say they are powerless fighting a power company.

CBS2 spoke with three other homeowners who are dealing with the same problem.

A state agency is backing the power company, CBS2 reported.

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