EL PASO, Ark. – A White County man has been trying unsuccessfully to open his business for years, but says something stopping him from building a driveway has kept his doors closed.
Andrew McClogan bought property along Highway 5 in El Paso, just north of Cabot in 2014. He said he was ready for the first customer, except a 40ft problem is on the way .
A pair of utility poles block what he said should be his driveway. An investigation, which he paid for, revealed the property line and the location of the utility poles.
“The forward post is in the middle of the middle,” McClogan said.
The frustrated would-be business owner said he used most of his neighbor’s driveway, which is in front of his business, to get to his property. He said his driveway should be where the poles are.
McClogan admits the poles were there before he bought the land nearly a decade ago, but said he had no idea how much it would cost to move them.
“I thought I should 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 brokering a deal with the former landowner.
“Any time we put utility poles on private property, of course we have to get permission and then we have to have a guaranteed right of way,” Hinkle said, adding that other utility companies also use the poles. .
She also said that if McClogan could get permission from another neighbor, the poles could be moved for $11,000. If he can’t get that permission, the cost will skyrocket to $18,000 to move the lines underground, and McClogan will have to foot the bill.
Hinkle said if Entergy paid for it, they would have to pass on the bill.
“It comes down to cost,” she explained. “We had to pass all the costs on to our customers. It just doesn’t make sense for us to do that.
McClogan argues that’s just too much money.
“That’s pretty ridiculous,” he said. “I’ve never seen this kind of problem.”
In the meantime, Andrew’s Auto Sales is still closed, although McClogan said the problem is far from buried.
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