Sandy victims forced to pay for elevated power lines

Sandy victims in Toms River will have to pay to have utility poles elevated.

Sandy victims in Toms River will have to pay to have utility poles elevated. (3/17/15)

TOMS RIVER - The mayor of Toms River says victims of Superstorm Sandy are being victimized again, this time by utility company JCP&L.

Sandy homeowners who are having their rebuilt homes elevated must also pay to have the electric poles elevated. Some of them have received bills for more than $10,000.

“Those prices are a burden on the people who’ve really been hurt in the first place,” says Mayor Tom Kelaher. “They’re trying to get back into their homes.”

JCP&L says the company has no choice in the matter. Regulations require taller homes have taller utility lines and the homeowner must pay for them. If a new power line encroaches on existing power lines, they will have to be elevated. A spokesperson for the company says the new poles are crucial for the safety of homeowners and work crews.

Mayor Kelaher says he met with JCP&L last week, and township leaders are considering taking actions against the company.

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