Letters To The Editor

Monday, June 16, 2003 at 1:00am

Look at long haul for utility lines


I read your article "NES debates underground utility lines" (June 12, p. 1) with great interest. The traditional thinking that Nashville Electric Service (NES) has used on this issue has justified not burying lines, but that thinking doesn't take into account all factors that need to be considered.

NES argues that the cost to bury lines is $2 billion versus the annual cost of $16 million to manage vegetation. Here are some other things to think about:

1. To apply the cost to all NES customers doesn't make sense. The burying of lines should be applied in targeted areas, such as those that are more densely populated, greatly reducing NES' cost estimate.

2. The cost of $7,000 per customer is an average. Where customers live in greater concentrations, the cost would be lower. And where people live in lesser concentrations, the cost would be higher - again reducing costs of the improvement.

3. Does the cost estimate take into account completing the project in conjunction with road repaving or just doing it by itself? Doing it at the same time roads are torn up for repaving would again reduce cost estimates.

4. Aboveground infrastructure is more dangerous (poles result in more traffic fatalities), less reliable (more outages), more costly to maintain (poles and stabilization wires replaced and maintained), and incrementally more expensive when expanding capacity (how much are the metal poles on Charlotte Pike versus adding one more underground cable when the lines are already buried?). Once the investment is made to bury lines, there is a positive return.

5. Finally, aboveground infrastructure reduces property values for commercial and residential properties. (Have you ever tried to sell a house with electrical lines running across the property or seen poles and lines in front of nice buildings?) NES can't consider this, but Mayor Bill Purcell and Metro Council should.

NES and the mayor should consider the future of the city. Are we growing? Do we plan to grow in the future? What type of cityscape do we want? Bent wooden poles jacked into place with tens of guide wires? Or protected, modern, easily expandable electrical infrastructure that is invisible and just works?

I really don't understand why NES wouldn't want to have better physical plant. When you look at other cities in our peer group, the quality of their electrical infrastructure is just better. Maybe we need to ask the expertise of other power companies that operate in these cities. No criticism of NES, but when a person has a problem to solve, he usually seeks out those with the best experience to solve it. Others in larger cities have been down this road before, and we are traveling it for the first time.

We should consider burying lines along major commercial and population corridors, and then we should selectively move into densely populated residential areas as road infrastructure is updated. The result would be safer, more reliable electrical service that in the long run is less expensive to expand and maintain and gives us a city that we can be proud of.



Letters make a reader tired


You really should put Eleanor Barrett on staff since she appears to have a weekly column in your letters to the editor section. You guys adore that venom-spewing, "hate America" chorus, and always publish letters from those who worship at the altar of Michael Moore. It is extremely fatiguing.



Daily doorstep drop is just right


Just a quick note to say that I appreciate your paper that shows up on our doorstep daily. It is just the right amount of news to read quickly and to keep current without having to set aside real time to read a much larger paper.

Keep 'em coming!



Restaurant patrons don't mind garnish


First off, let me tell you that my wife and I dine out seven nights a week in mostly fine dining establishments. Second, I hate carrots! But I must take exception to The City Paper's June 11 restaurant review ("Deer in the headlights," p. 21).

The carrots are done with a mandolin grater and do not come from Sysco. And this is a garnish and is Deer Park Grille's style. If your writer did not like them, then a one-line comment would be in order. But to ramble on about them is not constructive. And not even to mention how the crab cakes were is stupid. The crab cakes are great, and your readers should know this.

Readers are interested in a restaurant's food and service. They also expect the writer to visit more than one time to do a proper review. But they do not care about the garnish. This restaurant is not meant to be creative but consistent, which it is. Remember, the last two creative restaurants to open in Green Hills have closed.

Your writer is just that, a writer, and should be doing theater reviews to feed her ego. Also, I have never talked to anyone in the restaurant patron circles who reads your paper, and I guess that is why the restaurant was moderately busy for a Wednesday night.



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Filed under: City Voices