The Woodlands Approves Fee for Damaged Utility Lines
June 17, 2021
Last month, the township Board of Directors in The Woodlands were discussing putting in place a penalty for damaged utility lines. This was following a rise in utility hits earlier this year. On Wednesday, May 26, this proposed penalty was approved with a unanimous vote. Moving forward, in the event of a damaged utility line that necessitates an emergency response, a fee of $600 per hour will be incurred to the party responsible for as long as The Woodlands Fire Department crews are onsite. As a local Internet provider that puts the safety of its community first, we at Tachus would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our support for this penalty.
Tachus is investing over $45 million to bring residents of The Woodlands access to a fast, dependable, and durable fiber Internet connection. The infrastructure our crews are building in our community will offer speed, reliability, and durability that will outperform and outlast existing cable and DSL networks. Residents of The Woodlands can also look forward to an increase in their property value for simply having access to a fiber Internet connection. However, none of this is possible if it can't be built safely.
If you are not familiar with Tachus’ comprehensive construction process, our contractors install conduit and fiber in the front rights-of-way along the streets we plan to bring our service. Keeping this process as safe and non-disruptive as possible is Tachus’ highest priority. For this reason, we strictly follow construction protocols under Texas law when digging or drilling. In accordance with state law, we take the following steps:
- Before a project, our contractors request that existing utility companies locate their lines in the jobsite, either by calling 811 or by contacting them directly.
- We wait the required 48 hours for the utility owners or locators on their behalf to mark their lines.
- Once the lines in a jobsite are located, we complete all onsite construction within 14 days.
Parties that do not follow these protocols are responsible for resulting damages. While Tachus and its contractors strictly adhere to Texas law, our crews unfortunately encounter several scenarios in which utility companies have either not accurately marked their lines or not marked them at all. Tachus has begun to work more closely with these utility companies to improve the locating process in The Woodlands, to which we attribute a recent decrease in the number of utility hits in the month of May.
Tachus wants to make construction in The Woodlands as safe as possible for its residents, and we believe every precaution should be taken to ensure that. It is for this reason that Tachus supports the township’s new fee.