— Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) announced that he is organizing an effort to push utility companies to remove “zombie” or double poles no longer in use around the region.

According to the Public Service Commission, there are 1,107 zombie poles in the 99th Assembly District.

“The Hudson Valley is known for its environment and natural beauty,” said Skoufis. “Nobody wants to see a bunch of old, useless poles rotting by the side of the road. Additionally, these zombie poles can be a threat to public safety as they grow older and more dilapidated.”

Skoufis has met with representatives from Central Hudson Gas & Electric as well as Orange & Rockland, both of whom have committed to working alongside Skoufis and local officials to advance removal projects.

Oftentimes, other providers such as Spectrum, Verizon and Frontier must also switch over their lines before zombie poles can be removed.

“Like many other communities, zombie poles continue to blemish the Town of Cornwall,” said Supervisor Richard Randazzo. “Teaming up with Assemblyman Skoufis, we have urged Central Hudson – and they have agreed – to expedite removal of their double poles, particularly along our Main Street.”

Skoufis has been at the forefront of fighting blight in Hudson Valley communities.

Last year, Skoufis passed legislation to make banks more accountable for “zombie” properties, as well as give greater rights to homeowners facing foreclosure (A.6932-A, A.247, A.1298 of 2016).

Skoufis stressed that he’ll keep doing everything he can to protect public safety and property values.