Utilities cited for doing work without a permit

When John C. Bivona of St. Rose cited concerns about AT&T’s heavy equipment damaging his property to recently install fiber optic cable in the area, he was told utilities have rights-of-ways that allow them to do this work.

But Bivona also was told by the St. Charles Parish Council that they can’t do the work without a permit.

At Monday’s council meeting, Bivona cited the utility company leaving a large bore hole open and equipment weighing 16,000 pounds parked on his driveway that he anticipates will cause settling issues on his property and didn’t want to happen to anyone else.

He also told the council he anticipated drainage problems with substandard work he witnessed done in his area, which includes about 10 residences, as well as in Ormond.

“They will have problems eventually from heavy equipment” and bore holes, Bivona said.

Councilwoman Marilyn Bellock, who represents the area, visited the site and confirmed seeing “really large equipment on the driveway.”

Parish attorney Bobby Raymond said the utility companies have access to the servitudes to make repairs.

Public Works Director Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux agreed, but also determined the companies were doing work throughout the area without required permits. He added cease and desist orders were issued to utilities, including AT&T and Atmos Energy, until they got the permits.

“There were numerous incidents that happened, but we stopped them,” Faucheux told the council. “We will ensure the damage is corrected.”

He said they are also required to provide regular reports on the work.

Raymond added if these companies damage property they need to correct those issues.

Councilwoman Julia Fisher-Perrier asked Raymond to provide further clarification on the law.

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