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Pepco Utility Poles on Council Committee Agenda

The Montgomery County Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee and its Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will meet jointly at 1:30 p.m. on June 27, to discuss the county’s policy regarding the location of utility poles. The meeting was prompted by the periodic complaints from residents regarding poles they feel are in problematic positions.

The GO Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Hans Riemer, and the T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Riemer and Nancy Floreen, will meet in the Seventh Floor Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and will be streamed through the County Web site at

Councilmember Ervin requested the joint committee meeting to address issues regarding certain utility pole locations that may involves issues such as aesthetics, traffic sight line concerns and pedestrian accessibility. Representatives of Pepco, Comcast and Verizon are expected to attend the session, along with staff from a variety of county departments.

Pepco has reported that it owns 84,471 in the county as of June 13. Many of the poles also house equipment for other entities. Potomac Edison, BG&E and Verizon also own some utility poles.

In March, an agreement was reached between Pepco, Verizon and Comcast to remove certain poles, with the goal of removing “double polls” by December of 2014.

At 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Health and Human Services Committee, which is chaired by George Leventhal and includes Councilmembers Navarro and Craig Rice, will hold a worksession on the staffing, recruitment and training of behavioral health professionals in the Department of Health and Human Services. Included in the discussions will be the future impact of the Affordable Care Act on the demand for services.

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