NAUGATUCK — In her latest crusade against blight, Beautification Committee Chairwoman Linda Ramos is targeting utility poles.
“It’s ugly to look at that crap on the poles. There must be thousands and thousands of nails pounded into those poles. It’s like disgusting,” Ramos said. “Naugatuck is never going to be a destination when it looks like that.”
It is against state statute to affix signs to utility poles. According to the statute, anyone who does so can face a $50 fine.
Signs on utility poles are not only illegal, but can be injure a line worker who has to climb the poles, according to Mitch Gross, spokesman for Connecticut Light and Power, which owns outright or jointly with AT&T over 733,000 utility poles in Connecticut.
Ramos took it upon herself to remove fliers from poles along Meadow Street, Church Street and New Haven Road last month. With winter approaching, she’s hoping new signs for tag sales and events will wait until spring.
Gross said if people want to take the signs down, that’s their choice.
Ramos said her goal it to make Naugatuck beautiful through hard work, consistency, getting community buy-in and respect.
Ramos said she would like to amend Naugatuck’s blight ordinance to add fliers on utility poles to the list so the town can send letters to the offenders, who often put their addresses and phone numbers on the sign.
Zoning Enforcement Officer Steven Macary said the town doesn’t want tag sale signs posted all over Naugatuck.
“I call it sign pollution,” he said.
He said the worst offender is near Dunkin’ Donuts on Rubber Avenue near Cherry Street.
He said he calls the state about signs on the state right-of-way and the phone company about signs on poles. The Park Department removes signs on borough ground, he said.
He said the problem with tag sale and political signs is that when the sale or election is over, people don’t take them down.
“There’s so many political signs out there right now, I’m going to start grabbing them,” Macary said.
He said new sign regulations which went into effect Dec. 1 are even stricter about where signs can be placed and their size.