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Man fed up with DTE Energy pole left in his yard for more than a year

Posted at 7:04 PM, Nov 26, 2019

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) — How long is too long for a utility pole to be left on the ground on your property?

One man says he patiently waited for more than a year for it to be moved. When DTE didn’t respond to his calls for action, so he called 7 Action News.

Richard Henry says he knows exactly how long this utility pole has been in his yard on Angeline Ct. in St. Clair Shores.

“A year and a half now," Henry said. "We went on vacation not last July, but the July before and this was our gift."

He says he gave DTE time to use it, then called to ask if the company wasn't going to use it for something, if they could please pick it up?

“I think I have called them six times now,” Henry said.

He is frustrated. He felt alone, like this was an isolated problem for him and this neighbor on Francis Street a few blocks over that got a pole around the same time.

Then he saw a 7 Action News story about others who called for help getting rid of a pole that had been in their yard for months, or more than a year in West Bloomfield in October. When 7 Action News called DTE, the company responded, picking up the poles.

So Henry decided to call 7 Action News, too.

We reached out to DTE to find out would the pole be installed or could it be picked up. There were results and the pole in front of Henry's home was soon picked up.

“I am certainly thankful to you Kim and Channel 7 for what you guys do," the homeowner said. "You went to a lot of effort. I am really appreciative. You’re the media stepping up to actually be a part of the community and help. You took my call and listened to my emails. And now you are out here taking care of it this took a long time and it is gone today.”

However, there are still a lot of questions. Does DTE need to improve its processes to better track poles? They are after all worth more than thousand dollars in many cases.

7 Action News reached out to the Michigan Public Service Commission and learned that there is no regulation dictating how long a pole can be left on your property. The neighbor’s pole on Francis has not yet been picked up.

DTE released a statement that said:

“We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this has caused.

Poles are dropped off to replace an existing pole or extend service to a new customer.

Our goal is to drop off and install poles in a timely manner. However, sometimes we have emergent work, inclement weather or other situations that delay pole pick up.

We are reviewing our process for when poles are dropped off and jobs are put up on hold.

We remain committed to providing customers and the communities we serve with safe and reliable service.”