Flag revolt: More utility work means more little flags fly far too long

little-fla+Prosperity is one thing but people are flat tired of little flags that line easements long after work is completed.

The city council planning and zoning committee this week advanced a law that would specify that utility companies, contractors, developers and others have to remove such things before the city signs off to end their permits.

Leave them up, and there will be a big cost for extending the permits.

The city council gave final approval Thursday.

The flags and sometimes wood stakes mark underground utility lines for diggers.

Many stay up after projects are done, stay up until they rot or until irate citizens yank them out.

Councilman Scott Taylor, chairman of the committee, said the old flags that can wave for blocks are a pet peeve for him and some neighborhood leaders.

“I’ve had flags starting to appear on my desk,” he said.

He is also concerned about senior citizens who could hurt themselves marching into ice or snow to rip the things out.

But regulation can only go so far. The utility lines are also often marked with paint on the streets, and Councilwoman Heather Hall asked if some kind of paint could be used that fades faster.

City officials said the paint is usually the cheapest and fades in six months or so.

So no paint regulation, but diggers who finish projects will remove flags or else.

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