Setting Caravati straight

That was a good article on overhead power lines [News, "Crossed wires: Why aren't those power lines buried?" September 25, 2003].

Blake Caravati was mistaken when he said the City Attorney did not share my opinion about Charlottesville's franchise that gives the City authorities the right to direct where the where the lines may be put. He told me and the mayor at the time that Virginia Power would sue the City if it adopted an underground wiring ordinance.

Council never accepted my offer to pay for legal research to support my argument. There is also the political issue; 20 years ago practically every lawyer in the General Assembly was local counsel for VEPCO (that's what Virginia Power was called then) and was more than susceptible to its lobbyists.

If The Hook wants to pursue this, I can refer you to technical studies discussing modern techniques for installing underground utilities. Or you can find such material on the Internet.

Lloyd Smith


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