Damaged light poles will cost Crystal Township $6,000+

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:11 pm on Friday, January 10, 2014

Crystal Township Board Treasurer Ted Padgett surveys damage done to two township decorative light poles that were destroyed in two separate car accidents. — Daily News/Cory Smith


CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — Possible reckless driving and slippery road conditions have resulted in two expensive replacements for Crystal Township.

Within the span of one week, two decorative light poles on W. Lake Street were damaged in two separate car accidents, in which each pole was damaged beyond repair.

According to Crystal Township Supervisor Chris Johnston, when each accident was discovered, those responsible had already fled the scene.

At Wednesday evening’s Crystal Township Board meeting, board members discussed how to go about paying for the replacement of the two poles.

Johnston said the poles were “right next to each other” along the street near the Crystal Cable TV and Broadband business.

“We’ve never had anybody stick around after these have been knocked over,” Johnston said. “This is the third or fourth time this has happened since these poles were first installed.”

Clerk Bob Naumann said the total costs of replacing the two poles could exceed $6,000.

Crystal Township Board members, from left, Trustee Kurt McCracken, Treasurer Ted Padgett, Supervisor Chris Johnston, Clerk Bob Naumann, and Trustee Jason Anderson, discuss the issue of replacing two decorative light poles that were destroyed. — Daily News/Cory Smith

“The material for each pole is $2,477,” Naumann said. “We also have costs for the lights plus an additional cost in putting the poles back up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the cost see an additional $400 for each pole.”

Naumann said the poles likely wouldn’t be replaced until spring. Both Johnston and Naumann said they were hopefully that the replacement costs would be covered by the township’s insurance.

“We’ll bid out the costs for the work to replace the poles and keep the invoices to send to the insurance company,” Naumann said.

Johnston said that he doesn’t believe Christmas decorations and lights that were attached to the poles at the time of the accidents were damaged.

Roger Gooding of the Department of Public Works said it is unlikely that those responsible for the accidents will be found.

“The police aren’t going to find them,” he said. “They didn’t stick around and there were no car parts laying around.

Gooding said he spoke with investigators at each accident and it appeared the first pole that was damaged was due to reckless driving.

“The first pole, a person drove up the hill and decided to do a doughnut or a U-turn,” he said. “They hit the pole and took it out. Less than a week later, someone came down the hill and hit the second pole.”

Accident reports were filed by the township, but there are no leads as to who is responsible for the two accidents.

In other matters, township board members also voted unanimously to begin accepting bids for two fire trucks that the township is selling.

The first truck, a 1984 Dodge power-wagon ice rescue truck, will be available for sealed bids that will be opened at the Feb. 12 meeting.

The second vehicle, a 2002 Dodge truck, previously used by the Department of Public Works, will also be accepting sealed bids until the Feb. 12 meeting, and includes an attached snow plow, after the township recently purchased a new truck and plow.

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