Calera to change underground utility restrictions

Companies installing new underground utility lines in Calera soon may have a more strict set of guidelines, the Calera City Council said during an Oct. 19 meeting.

The council voted unanimously to allow City Attorney Frank Ellis to draft a resolution requiring companies to install new underground utility lines as a residential or commercial development is being built.

The resolution would prevent utility companies from destroying roads and property in completed developments to install underground utility lines, according to City Engineer Chris Pappas.

“Is there any way we can draw up a resolution to keep companies from installing utility lines after a development is finalized?” Pappas asked the council. “We need to require them all to install their utilities at the same time. That will keep them from coming in and tearing up a subdivision after it’s completed.”

Members of the council said Charter Communications frequently destroys residential streets and yards by installing new underground cable lines.

In other business, the council:

Voted to raise prices charged by the Calera Police Department’s records department.

The motion raised the price of a standard police report to $5 per report. Previously, the department provided the first report free, and charged $3 per additional copy.

“We made the decision to raise the fees after we looked around and realized our fees were a lot cheaper than everyone else’s,” said Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley.

Proclaimed Oct. 18-24 Teen Read Week. During the week, any teenagers who return overdue books to the Calera Library will not be charged a late fee.