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Utility pole inspections underway

Jo-Carroll Energy has contracted with Osmose Inc. to conduct utility pole inspections for 2017.

Approximately 5,000 poles will be inspected. Areas included are served by the cooperative’s Chadwick and York substations. Inspectors will be near Mount Carroll, Savanna, Thomson and Chadwick.

Utility pole inspections are a part of the cooperative’s routine maintenance, according to Robert Pelelo, director of operations. Inspectors will travel from pole to pole, digging around each to inspect for rot below the ground surface. The process checks the strength of the poles and identifies those that should be replaced. Poles will be treated with a preservative to extend the life of the pole or tagged for replacement.

Each year the cooperative inspects approximately 10 percent of its utility poles. Typically, less than five percent of inspected poles are rejected and need to be replaced, Pelelo noted. Inspectors look for rotten poles and poles damaged by insects, woodpeckers, vehicle contacts or even lightning.

Pole maintenance can save the cooperative money by reducing unplanned replacement costs and providing additional years of durable service life to poles.

Contractors’ vehicles will be identified with their company name and will display “Jo-Carroll Energy Contractor” vehicle magnets while they work in the cooperative’s service territory.

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