16 Helps You: What’s with the flags?

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 6:34 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - With utility flags lining every lawn at Clover Leaf Villas in Clay Township, it’s a logical assumption to think a construction project is approaching.

But Ann Schmiedeler, the homeowner’s association president, told 16 News Now neither she nor any of her neighbors have been notified of anything.

“Yesterday, I had another call from a resident. That’s what prompted me to call [WNDU] to say, you know, ‘Hey, we - I haven’t seen anything in the news about this. Could anyone tell us what’s going on?’” she asked.

Schmiedeler has wondered what’s up with the utility flags since late last year while walking in a nearby subdivision across from hers off Ironwood Road.

“I noticed every other yard on one of the streets over there had a big old hole dug in it that way,” she recalled. “I mean, [the holes] were like three or four feet in diameter. And the sod was just sort of thrown around. And I thought – I’m really concerned about this happening in our neighborhood.”

One day, she says she spoke to a utility marking employee.

“And he said AT&T was laying hundreds of miles of fiber optic cable in this whole area,” told Schmiedeler. “And then pretty soon, the flags showed up in our front yards.”

Ann says she’s tried reaching AT&T and showed WNDU a letter she sent to St. Joseph County Commissioners and her county councilman, both of which she says were never answered.

“And I’ve had calls from several residents. So it’s not, I mean, it’s not as though I missed something. They missed it, too. So it would have been nice to have either had a leaflet or maybe a letter…saying, ‘We’re going to be in your neighborhood soon. This is what we’re doing. We’ll restore your yard. Don’t worry.’ I mean, that would be really nice,” Schmiedeler said.

AT&T released a statement to WNDU, saying: “As we work to expand and enhance our fiber network to deliver ultra-high speeds to communities, we strive to minimize the inconvenience to residents as much as possible. In this case, we placed door hangers to notify residents before our contractors began work in the area. Questions or concerns about our fiber expansion work can be reported at 877.780.5422.


-Our contractors are instructed to obtain proper permitting, closely follow local construction codes, and abide by rules governing rights-of-way and property easements.”

WNDU is awaiting a response from AT&T regarding whether or not the company is, indeed, planning to install fiber optic lines at Cloverleaf Villas, as Schmiedeler told WNDU villa residents have not received door hangers.

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