Who’s digging near my yard?

LENOIR, NC (January 28, 2019) — Almost every day, contractors are digging near someone’s yard. See those blue, red, or yellow dashed lines along streets and through ditches? Someone has marked current utilities before a contractor starts digging. Generally speaking, everyone likes new utility lines. Sometimes, though, construction can cause problems.

City staff recently received complaints about utility contractors working around town. The City of Lenoir asks companies to reduce impacts to property owners. However, the City is not responsible for work done by private contractors.

To help mitigate impacts, City staff requires companies apply for an encroachment agreement. Encroachment agreements give companies permission to work in City rights-of-way. Before issuing the agreement, City staff reviews the company’s project plans. Staff conducts on-site meetings and warns contractors of possible issues. The City also requires that contractors carry insurance to cover damages; however, the City may only grant permission for such encroachments to the extent of the City’s ownership interest in its right-of-way.

If a company deviates from its plan or causes too much damage, City staff may issue a stop work order. Earlier this month, city staff issued a stop-work order on contractors installing fiber for AT&T. The City required the workers to resolve some issues before they continued.

Residents should know that the City of Lenoir does not mediate civil disputes. Residents who believe that a company has damaged their property must contact the company.

Also, the extent of the City’s right-of-way interest varies on different streets. It is the responsibility of owners to know their property lines and any right-of-way on their property. Contractors also must know the right-of-way and work only where they have legal access to work.

The City does not have the ability to contact every resident and let them know when contractors will be working near their property. If residents see blue, yellow, or painted lines on their property, someone is most likely coming to install utilities.

Residents with questions or concerns about work happening on their street can email cityoflenoir@gmail.com or call the Public Works Department 757-2175 for details. Residents with complaints about the AT&T install, should call AT&T at 828-754-1732.

What are utilities?

Utilities are services such as water, sewer, electricity, natural gas, television, phone, and Internet.  The City of Lenoir provides water, sewer, and stormwater management services. Several private companies offer power, natural gas, television, phone, and Internet in Lenoir.

Call 811 before you dig.

What is 811?

811 is the phone number you call before digging to protect yourself and others from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines.

There are millions of miles of buried utilities beneath the surface of the earth that are vital to everyday living like water, electricity and natural gas.

When you make the free call to 811 a few days before you dig, you’ll help prevent unintended consequences such as injury to you or your family, damage to your property, utility service outages to the entire neighborhood and potential fines and repair costs.

When can I begin my digging project?

Wait for the marks! Utilities will mark their buried lines on your dig site.

Most locate crews will arrive to mark your dig site with paint or flags within a few days and will make sure you know where to avoid digging so you don’t hit buried utilities.  Remember the depths of utility lines may vary and there may be multiple utility lines in the same area.  Be sure to check your state laws for specific information.

Read more at call811.com/before-you-dig.