Burger broiling

Mayor of Parksville not amused; Telus says it will move poles from construction area by mid-July

There are at least four Telus poles crews have had to pave around at Temple and Highway 19A - the mayor of Parksville is not amused.

The mayor of Parksville is some kind of upset with Telus.

Chris Burger says the contractor doing the Highway 19A construction near Temple Street has had to work around the communication company’s infrastructure, despite the fact the city asked for co-operation from Telus back in January.

“They (telephone pole, wires, etc.) should have been gone a long time ago and we can’t stop a project while we wait for Telus,” said Burger, who also Tweeted a picture of the situation on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s adding more costs to the project.”

Burger said the costs associated with moving the Telus infrastructure are part of the construction contract and won’t be borne by Telus, but the telecommunications company has to provide the crews with the expertise to move the items.

“It’s no money out of their pockets,” said Burger, who also said he has tried, unsuccessfully, to contact someone with Telus who could help with the situation.

“There’s no special line for mayors — I have to call the regular, 800 number.”

Burger said this isn’t the first time he’s had a difficult time dealing with Telus on city-related matters.

“We have had a hard time dealing with them always,” said Burger. “It’s a question of working with us, not against us. We don’t have these issues with (BC) Hydro, Shaw or Fortis.”

Telus spokesperson Shawn Hall told The NEWS Wednesday morning the company is on the job and the poles will be removed by mid-July.

“It sounds to me like there’s been a miscommunication within the city,” said Hall, who said Telus staff have been in contact with city staff about the issue in the past two weeks.

“We will get this resolved,” said Hall. “We have to transfer our services to other cables and poles. It takes some work — we have to do it properly. Clearly (the current situation) is not acceptable and clearly something went wrong and we apologize for any role we played in that. We’re going to pull out all the stops and get it done as quickly as possible.”

Hall also said the mayor has been contacted by Telus’ general manager for Vancouver Island operations.