By Frank Lewis
December 30, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The electrical station which obscured a city asset and drew the ire of area residents by way of social media, will be moved 200 feet — said Portsmouth Mayor David Malone after a meeting with engineers Monday.
Malone says when he learned Saturday morning that an electrical station, part of the riverfront electrical upgrade, had been placed in front of the Portsmouth murals, arguably, the city’s biggest tourist attraction, he took action.
“I contacted Howerton Saturday morning when I found out, and told him it had to be moved,” Malone said.”I mentioned it to Richard (Howerton) on Saturday when we talked. I said even though I signed the document to approve to get the project moving forward, I told him, had I known that this is where they were planning to locate it, I would not have approved it. I spoke to him and I said, this has to be moved.”
Howerton Engineering & Surveying, is the engineering firm that designed the project.
Monday morning, the engineers and contractors met, and Malone attended that meeting.
“They’re actually going to move it about 200 feet east of the murals, and put in a couple of poles possibly,” Malone said.
Malone said Portsmouth City Council passed legislation approving appropriation of funds from the Capital Improvements Project (CIP) to upgrade the electrical system in the riverfront area.
“So it’s our project, but I had no idea that it was going to be right there,” Malone said. “I found out over on Facebook Saturday morning.” He said he found out Monday morning the meeting to look into the issue was scheduled, so he went to the meeting and told the Daily Times immediately following the meeting that the station will be moved.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.