Chopped poles in Carbondale to come down soon |

Chopped poles in Carbondale to come down soon

John Stroud Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” A row of topped-off utility poles lining Main Street in front of the new Mountain Sage Townhomes should be coming down by early March, after an agreement was reached between Carbondale town officials and Comcast this week.

It’s welcome news to the developer of the townhouses, who has had a hard enough time selling the 14 recently completed units amidst the housing market downturn. The stubbed utility poles weren’t exactly serving as a selling point either.

“We committed ourselves to making this the best project we could back in 2007, because everything was working for us then,” said David Mork, who along with Ken Williams developed the Mountain Sage Townhomes.

Included in that commitment was an agreement to cover a portion of the cost to place the utility lines running along the north side of Main Street underground.

By doing so, it would eliminate the unsightly above-ground utility lines, which has been a townwide goal for several years. It was also intended to make the townhouse project and the gateway into Carbondale’s downtown generally more attractive, Mork said.

“By the time we got our COs (certificates of occupancy), the economic landscape had collapsed,” Mork said.

Then, delays in completing the utility project didn’t help sales at a particularly critical time, he said.

After the underground conduit was put in last fall, Xcel Energy placed its power lines underground earlier this year. That left Comcast to relocate its cables so the utility poles could be removed. But delays resulted in the awkward-looking poles standing for several weeks.

On Tuesday, Comcast and town representatives met, and Comcast agreed to remove its fiber lines from the poles next week and place them underground. After that, Xcel will remove the utility poles, town manager Tom Baker said.

Mork said just one of the 14 Mountain Sage properties has sold, and three more are under contract.

“We have started to get some showings,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of tire kickers out there, with the lower mortgage rates. There’s a window of opportunity now that nobody has seen in the last five years.”

Phase two of the townhouse project will include an additional 12 units. But work on that phase won’t begin until phase one sells out, Mork said.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

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