Plan to protect Marine Park homeowners

With a simple phone call, Marine Park residents can protect themselves from financial ruin.

Any construction project that requires breaking ground should be registered with DigNet, a nonprofit organization serving as a middleman between utility companies and homeowners preparing for digging projects.

“If you as a homeowner are doing work, you must call and get that windfall ticket number. It is your get out of jail free card,” Reed Schwartz, DigNet’s damage prevention liaison, explained at last week’s meeting of the Marine Park Civic Association.

Excavators and contractors are already legally required to contact DigNet 48 hours prior to beginning work, but homeowners are also encouraged to call. At that point, utility companies survey the property and install markers signifying the locations of underground power lines and fiberoptic cables, which must be avoided during construction.

Without knowing where the cables are, they could be damaged, and result in an explosion, a fire, power or utilities services interruptions, costly property or environmental damage, or personal injury.

Projects that could damage underground lines include landscaping, digging holes for fence posts or a mailbox, anchoring supports for decks and swings sets, planting trees, removing tree roots, driving landscaping stakes into the ground, and installing a retainer wall.

Marine Park Civic Association President Greg Borruso encouraged residents to use the service.

“My question is always how much does it cost? It’s free. So use it,” he advised.

To register a project call 1-800-272-4480 or 811. Get more damage prevention tips at www.dignetnycli.com.