HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT ) - A Hartselle father recalls a phone company's old slogan of reach out and touch someone, but he's hoping he doesn't have to take it literally. Shane Dutton wants an old telephone pole removed from his yard.
Dutton says the rotten telephone pole has taken up space outside his home for nearly a year. He reached out to WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin to see if he could get the pole removed.
The telephone pole causing the grief is rotten. Dutton is also keeping his eye on another pole literally leaning against the rotten one. Dutton emailed WHNT NEWS 19 to say both poles pose a danger to his children, vehicles and home. He wants at least one of the poles gone.
Dutton has lived on Cedar Cove Road for about five years. He's had to look at a couple of unsightly telephone poles for almost one.
"I'm barely touching it and you can see how it bends. It can just break," said Dutton.
Dutton lives with his wife and children. The kids are under the age of 12.
"I'm afraid if the pole breaks or gives, the pole can fall and hurt one of the four kids. It can hit one of our vehicles or the corner of our house," added Dutton.
Dutton called Hartselle Utilities eight months ago. He wanted the utility company to replace the poles, but learned HU could not touch the poles.
"It looks like that is bracing the other one. If it breaks, I am just afraid that it is going to go," added Dutton.
He says HU told him AT&T owned the poles. Dutton called AT&T and saw the company's employees come out to survey the situation.
"They looked at it, said yes, it looks bad and they would put work order in for it. They said it would take about a week," added Dutton.
The father of four hasn't seen any changes in eight months.
"The same thing. It is the same thing I had before. Every time it rains, it seems like it is going to get a little worse," added Dutton.
"Some may wonder what's the big fuss with this telephone pole? Dutton talked about its rot, but is really concerned about the chance of it crumbling and the base falling apart.
"I think it is ridiculous. I think they need to fix it. I mean, it is a danger. It is a danger to my kids, my vehicles, my house or any car coming down the road if it was to break," added Dutton.
Why did Dutton reach out to WHNT NEWS 19?
"I did because you all take action and get results and I need results. I don't want any of my kids to get hurt," added Dutton.
WHNT NEWS 19 reached out and called AT&T to help make sure the pole doesn't break. A company spokesman replied:
"Thank you for reaching out to us on behalf of Mr. Dutton. I am very sorry to hear about his situation. We apologize for any issues or inconvenience this has caused the Dutton family. We will begin looking into this matter immediately, starting with my personally reaching out to Mr. Dutton, and we will keep you apprised of our progress. Thanks again, and don't hesitate to call on me any time."
WHNT NEWS 19 checked with Dutton to make sure the spokesman contacted him as promised. Dutton says the spokesman did. He and the spokesman plan to talk to each other to figure out how to make the yard safer.