Attention and care for customer's bungalow and garden were integral to Smart Circuits project
Avista crews took careful measures recently to ensure
no damage was done to a customer’s historic 1912
bungalow and garden during the installation of a
utility pole nearby. The work was part of Avista’s
Smart Circuits project. We listened to our customer’s
concerns and modified our plan to everyone’s
satisfaction. It might be a big project, but we know
how much each interaction matters.
Poles and electric wires – up above, down below, on the street and by your home. It’s a necessity, and a fundamental part of our business. So every day, Avista is out in neighborhoods placing poles and wires, or replacing them as they age or when new technology comes out to serve you better.
The work we do could literally be in your own back yard – and we want you to be happy with it. Such was the case with Avista customers, Jim and Ann Price, whose historic 1912 bungalow and garden in Spokane had to be accessed in order to place a new pole in a utility easement on his property. The job also entailed removing a very old pole from an adjoining lot.
This specific work, which is part of the Spokane Smart Circuits project
, is part of a design to replace large power lines that connect different areas of our system on the South Hill.
The couple was concerned about how Avista and other contractors were going to bring the equipment in on their property to place the pole. Typical equipment used to place power poles would not be able to negotiate the small gravel driveway without threatening irreparable harm to either the bungalow or the garden.
The Construction Project Coordinator for the project, John Hanna, took the time to listen to the couple and work with them.
“After listening to the Mr. Price’s concerns, I assured him of two things,” Hanna said. “First, he would be informed of our plan throughout the entirety of the project, and secondly, we were not done until he was satisfied.”
Hanna, along with a team consisting of Avista Real Estate Representative Claude Kahler, Electric Inspector Joe Vigliotta, Mountain Power Line Foreman Rick Larson, and Asplundh Tree Foreman Steve Guiterez and Work Planner Zeb Rosenthal worked with the customer and created an alternative plan.
According to Jim Price, "The men devoted a great deal of time and attention to seeing that care of our property was an important part of the project ... all of the workers were pleasant, considerate and informative."
Workers dug the hole for the pole by hand and with a jackhammer, instead of using an excavator as they normally would. Aside from a small cart and crane to transport and place the pole, no other trucks or mechanical equipment entered the property.
From beginning to end, work caused minimal disruption and no damage to the bungalow or the customer's garden.
In addition, Hanna and the customer agreed that the best use of the customer’s pine tree that was removed during the project was to donate it as firewood to SNAP
. Hanna arranged for four supervised inmates from Geiger Correctional Facility to pick up and deliver the firewood to SNAP. He even surprised the inmates with doughnuts to say “thank you.”
The work done is a great example of how Avista employees work with customers, other businesses and the community to improve the quality of life and energy.
About Avista’s Smart Circuits project
Avista’s Smart Circuits project is all about upgrading electric facilities in the Spokane area to support the technologies of today and tomorrow. Ultimately, this work will result in greater energy efficiency in our delivery of energy. Improving our equipment with smarter technology delays the need for new generation facilities, which is very costly to build. Upgrading our electric facilities with smarter technology also makes future integration of renewable generation resources possible. To learn more about our smart grid projects, visit www.avistautilities.com
, keyword: smart grid.