Eversource contractors laid down wooden rails on either side of Lantern Lane in Tisbury on Friday, effectively sealing off the electrical corridor that runs perpendicular to the street. The work started Thursday, and is expected to run two weeks, according to Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. All or most of the electrical corridor in Tisbury will be cordoned off.
On Friday, workers also set a gate on the border of 22 Lantern Lane, a commercial parcel with a warehouse and trucks onsite owned by Bruce McGregor via a trust. MacGregor could not be reached for comment. Two police cruisers watched over the Eversource workers, who used a small tractor to aid in their work. Lamberty said a total of 18 galvanized steel gates will be installed, along with sections of wooden barriers.
Eversource is “doing this out of concerns for safety,” specifically to stop “repeated dumping” on the utility’s “distribution right of way.”
Letters have been sent out to abutters, Lamberty said. The gates “will be locked,” but a no-key double-locking mechanism will allow both Eversource and various landowners to unlock the gate as needed.
Eversource has “incurred the costs” to clean up parts of the easement zone, and is now “looking to stop the unauthorized use of our easement” in collaboration with Tisbury officials, Lamberty said. “We have the full support of the town,” he said.
Lamberty said the work is “consistent with the program” Eversource has enacted throughout Eastern Massachusetts. “This has been a public process for over a year,” selectman Jeff Kristal said. He said Eversource has had to shell out a lot to keep the easement clear of debris and also paid about $250,000 to clean up dumped oil.
Last year while Kristal and other town officials were on a walk along one section of the electrical easement, they witnessed a landscaper try to illegally dump material, he said.
Not every abutter is on board with the Eversource project. “They keep throwing our easement agreement in our face,” Steve Bradley of 12 Lantern Lane said. Bradley said in the 1940s, when the area was subdivided, a handwritten real estate instrument was executed that stipulated Eversource’s predecessor would specify where the easement was, and would draw up a plan showing this. “That has never been found,” Bradley said. “The issue is they’re coming onto private property and building stuff, and telling us we can’t do anything about it.” Bradley said court is “probably going to be the only recourse.”
Asked if Eversource surveyed ahead of making installations, Lamberty told The Times there was no surveying done for gates and barriers.