City of D'Iberville, Coast Electric Wrangle Over Light Pole Banners

By Toni Miles - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Greeting banners line Sangani Boulevard in D'Iberville, but the signs are not a welcome sight to leaders at Coast Electric Power Association. The power company owns the light poles where these banners hang.

"Their only function is to hold a single light. The issue that we have is that these poles, according to the manufacturer, are not rated for additional structures," said Ron Barnes, a spokesman for Coast Electric Power Association.

That news came as quite a shock to Richard Rose, D'Iberville's city manager.

"Earlier this week, I received a phone call from an individual from Coast Electric Power Association, advising me that the city needed to remove the banners off Sangani Boulevard and not replace the Christmas decorations that we've been doing annually for a number of years," Rose said.

Rose says Coast Electric gave the city permission to hang the banners and other holiday decorations from the poles in 2006.

"If they had a problem with it, they should have denied the city of D'Iberville to put those banners up there a few years ago, or number two have told us to remove them before today, and then to give us eight days to remove them, it's quite frankly a little unnerving to the public, and I think it's ridiculous," Rose said.

But Coast Electric says it's a safety issue.

"Typically we have a lot of winds like today, and I was riding by one of these recently and looking at it, and the pole is swaying. If the pole was to come down, it could cause a car accident. It could fall across a vehicle or on someone walking," Barnes said.

Rose admits banners have fallen from the poles in the past, but says no one has ever been hit by one. Rose says the city has spent about $40,000 on Christmas and other holiday decorations that are hung on poles throughout the entire city.

Barnes says if the city doesn't take the banners down by October 10, Coast Electric will remove the light poles.