Carmel stops MetroNet from working in city while probe into ruptured gas lines is conducted
CARMEL, Ind. – The City of Carmel plans to effectively stop MetroNet from installing high speed internet fiber in the community while an investigation into the utility company is conducted.
Fishers officials requested that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission investigate MetroNet after its crews ruptured six gas lines in the city within a month.
MetroNet has also reportedly hit 14 gas lines in Carmel this year. Due to this, officials are requesting that the IURC also investigate the cuts made by MetroNet in Carmel. The city will then re-evaluate MetroNet’s Right-of-Way Permit to determine what work may continue at that time.
Mayor Jim Brainard cites public safety risks as one of the reasons for these actions.
As Indiana law stands, Hoosier cities cannot deny permission for privately-owned utilities to operate in cities’ right of ways. But some legislators are calling for legislation to better regulate the digging these companies do.
“Our hands are tied when it comes to regulating these private utilities as they work in the right of way, but when that work poses a threat to public safety, we must take whatever action is available to ensure our citizens and businesses are kept from harm,” said Mayor Brainard.
The Mayor plans to seek damages for the costs incurred while responding to public safety calls “caused by MetroNet’s negligence.”
“The city will permit restoration work to continue where yards, right of ways and landscaping has been disturbed,” said the city in a statement Wednesday. “However, if that restoration requires any form of excavation, MetroNet will only be permitted to proceed with that excavation if a City of Carmel inspector is on site.”
The city is asking those with complaints about MetroNet to call the Carmel Department of Community Services at (317) 571-2417.