EL PASO, Ark. – A White County man has been unsuccessfully trying to open his business for years but said something blocking him from building a driveway has kept his doors closed.
Andrew McClogan purchased property along Highway 5 in El Paso just north of Cabot in 2014. He said he is ready for the first customer except a 40-foot problem is in the way.
A pair of utility poles block what he said should be his driveway. A survey, which he paid for, revealed the property line and where the power poles are.
“The front pole is dead center in the middle,” McClogan said.
The frustrated would-be business owner said he is using most of his neighbor’s driveway, which is in front of his business, to get to his property. He said his driveway needs to be where the poles are.
McClogan admits the poles were there prior to him purchasing the land nearly a decade ago but said he had no idea the price tag to move them.
“I figured I’d have to pay Entergy a few thousand dollars to move the poles. I didn’t expect them to say $10,000,” he said. “Now it’s $18,000.”
Entergy spokeswoman Brandi Hinkle said the poles were placed there after negotiating a deal with the old landowner.
“Anytime we place power poles on private property, we of course have to get permission, and then we have to have a guaranteed right of way,” Hinkle said, adding that other utility companies use the poles as well.
She also said that if McClogan could get permission from another neighbor, the poles could be moved for $11,000. If he can’t secure that permission, though, the cost would climb to $18,000 to move the lines underground, and McClogan would have to foot the bill.
Hinkle said if Entergy paid for it, they would have to trickle down the bill.
“It comes back again to the cost,” she explained. “We would have to pass on any costs to our customer base. It just doesn’t make good sense for us to do that.”
McClogan contends it’s just too much money.
“It’s pretty ridiculous,” he said. “I never saw this kind of problem.”
In the meantime, Andrew’s Auto Sales is still closed, even though McClogan said the issue is far from buried.
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