FOLEY – Foley is putting a temporary hold on the installation of new overhead utility lines while the city studies the need to protect services during storms and improve rights of way.

The Foley City Council voted Tuesday to impose an immediate one-year moratorium on above-ground overhead utilities. Council President Wayne Trawick said the city is receiving more applications to place utilities on overhead poles and the move will allow officials time to assess the situation.

“We’ve got a lot of applications for folks to put stuff on the poles and there’s some discussion on doing some things with the poles that will greatly complicate that if we allow the stuff on the poles right now, so that’s why we’re putting a temporary moratorium on it,” Trawick said.

The moratorium is intended to protect utilities from damage during hurricanes and natural disasters. The restriction will also enhance the use of rights of way and preserve the appearance of public spaces.

The restriction will prohibit any new installations of above-ground overhead utilities, such as electric, cable, fiber and telephone lines in Foley.

The ordinance will allow work to maintain existing overhead utility lines and work done to repair lines after a natural disaster.

The ordinance also authorizes the city to impose penalties or other actions for anyone violating the regulation. The city will also not issue right-of-way permits or other permits that do not conform to the ordinance.

The moratorium will be in effect for 12 months unless changed by the City Council.