CARMEL, Ind. -- The City of Carmel has cleared MetroNet to resume work following the submission of an updated safety plan.
The city and the Indiana-based internet and cable provider signed an agreement that says proper steps will be taken to prevent problems and issues that came up before a stop work order was issued last year.
According to the memorandum of understanding:
- Metronet construction personnel assigned to supervise and monitor work will complete the IURC Pipeline Safety Division training and shall require its contractors to do the same.
- Metronet will have a Metronet employee available at each dig site who can effectively communicate with property owners about the digging, construction and restoration activities.
- Metronet will visit each property where an outstanding restoration complaint has been made in order to resolve the situation.
- Metronet will notify each property owner and homeowners association (if one exists) at least 30 days prior to entering any property for excavation.
- If any further underground facility hits occur, Metronet will ensure that 911, 811, the underground utility and the City of Carmel Engineering Department are notified.
The agreement says any breach of safety protocol may result in a new work order and fines of up to $500 per breach, in addition to reimbursement costs.
On Monday, the City of Fishers and MetroNet approved an agreement to allow the provider to resume work.
MetroNet and its subcontractors were investigated by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission amid 20 reports of damage to gas lines in Fishers and Carmel.
Following the gas line strikes, Fishers, Carmel and Westfield all ordered MetroNet and its contractors to stop digging.
MetroNet has since met with numerous city and state officials to assure them of their updated procedures.
The Indiana Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against five of MetroNet’s excavators accused of performing work without proper authorization.
Curtis Hill’s office filed suit in Hamilton County on October 16 against Crosier Lane Consulting (Illinois), International, Inc. (Michigan), Nexgen Directional (Illinois), RC Underground (Florida) and RLM Underground (Kansas).
Curtis Hill’s office filed the lawsuit “to ensure compliance with the law” and is seeking a civil penalty in each case of up to $10,000.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit relates only to the licensing status of the excavators, and is not connected to pipeline damage caused by the contractors.