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City works to identify utility poles

COVINGTON — Instead of tagging a utility pole with caution tape, the city of Covington is working toward putting in place a GIS (Geographic Imaging System) mapping program in order to number all the city-owned poles.

During a budget work session on May 22, Councilman Chris Smith questioned if the city’s gas and electric departments have any marked poles and what it would take to have them all numbered.

“Instead of the police department putting caution tape around it and the city having to find out what street light is out, can we go ahead and number the poles? It’d be much easier to respond to say, pole No. 125 instead of looking for one with caution tape,” Smith said.

Electric Department Director Tim Morris said he must first have a trial run with the GIS program in order to efficiently number each of the poles.

“Before we can get to the point in numbering all poles, we first have to locate them. We’re going to conduct a trial run of the GIS mapping program in September and create new distribution maps first,” Morris said. “It’s a long process because there’s not just poles, but switches, transformers, fuses and so on that also need to be numbered.”

Morris said he hopes by the next fiscal year to have all electrical components numbered. The numbering system and GIS mapping program will better help management send the linemen out when responding to street light or storm outages and emergency situations.