MOUNT PLEASANT -- A property owner suggested Tuesday that the town add a French flair to help beautify a 95-foot-tall power pole on Coleman Boulevard.
"Maybe we could decorate it with flowers. We could make it look like the Eiffel Tower and get some tourist dollars," Broadus Thompson told the Town Council Finance Committee.
Thompson is troubled by the tower at the entrance to Tidewater Executive Center. He thinks the pole obscures the sign for the property, which includes an adjacent wedding chapel.
Thompson spoke to the committee about the 10 rust-colored power poles that South Carolina Electric & Gas installed on the boulevard.
He said the appraised value of his property has gone up $225,000 despite the detrimental visual effect of the big pole. Thompson is a general partner and major stockholder in the LLC that owns the real estate.
The committee heard other ideas on how to make the poles less objectionable, such as reducing them to 85 feet, painting them green or landscaping around them.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," said Danny Kassis, a general manager for SCE&G.
Cost estimates to lower the poles by 10 feet ranged up to $300,000 per pole, which the town and the utility would split 50/50.
Councilwoman Linda Page rejected spending that much money.
"To me, it just seems a little silly," she said.
Power-distribution lines have been buried on Coleman Boulevard for about a mile from Lansing Drive to just past Shem Creek. The work is part of a $4 million effort to beautify and revitalize the boulevard.
The poles from Patriots Point Boulevard to Lansing Drive support both transmission and distribution lines. For that reason, burying them would cost an estimated $5 million, officials said.
Town Council saw drawings of the big poles before they were installed six months ago. The renderings did not truly give a sense of mammoth size of the towers, some council members said.
The committee decided to further study the issue.