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Call before you dig great in theory but . . .

I was both amused and annoyed when I read the recent plea from city hall asking that we don’t start excavations on our property without first calling to make sure we know where all the gas, water and phone lines are located (Tribune, July 1).
After the last two months, it is clear that this policy is unilateral. Others can do whatever they like at your house without anyone telling you what they are up to. For us, it began with an orange stripe painted on the boulevard.
This was followed by a red stripe and some yellow ones. Then I came home to find three yellow flags and three orange flags planted in various locations, including our front lawn.
After these appeared, about a week passed before a huge digger gouged up the boulevard and some kind of cable was laid under the driveway. Coincidentally, that was the day our phone stopped working.
I called Bell, who came the same day and connected us via the neighbour’s house.
That was five weeks ago. They left a nice note saying this was a temporary fix. I don’t know about you, but this is long past what I think of as temporary.
Last week the painters were back, I left for work and found a nice man wandering around the front garden with what appeared to be a metal detector. He didn’t seem to know why he was there but since then we have a new yellow stripe all the way down the side of the house, through the flowerbeds, to the back.
There’s a new red stripe on the boulevard and someone with a shovel dug up the side lawn where, whoever it was, found a large rock (I’m guessing that this was not what they were looking for).
The turf is now dead. Later, and 40 feet from the rock, I found a water shut-off valve (spray painted blue) so at least I know what the rock was supposed to have been.
Everything else remains a mystery.
Steve Blakeley

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