HONESDALE — With all this cold weather, folks in part of Wayne County are happy to have heat.
But some aren’t happy with something that comes along with it.
When the temps dip below freezing, it is a good thing stores in downtown Honesdale have heat. For quite a few, natural gas service comes with a catch: a gas meter stuck out front for all to see.
“They’re not going anywhere, I can’t see them replacing them or taking them out. So we’ll make the best of it, I think,” said Tom Fasshauer, owner of Art’s for Him.
Fasshauer says he is fortunate that UGI Utilities was able to put his meter alongside the business. Others were not so lucky.
“I think it takes away from the looks, you have nice historic buildings,” said Jeff Hiller, president of the Greater Honesdale Partnership.
If its logo is any indication, the gas meters are not part of the vision for downtown businesses and people have noticed.
“When you have a historic looking Main Street like this, the meters are not aesthetically pleasing. They could have found other ways to do it,” said Bob Green of Honesdale.
UGI recognizes just how unsightly the gas meters are, but they are a safety measure, according to a spokesperson.
UGI recently completed a 6-month project to upgrade the lines so the pressure is greater, and having meters on the outside makes it a whole lot safer for businesses and homeowners, said Joe Swope of UGI.
“It’s not pretty. If it’s necessary it’s necessary,” said Laurel Gardner of Laurel’s Coffee Grinder.
Gardner has a different take. At her breakfast joint along Main Street she figures the meter can be dressed up to be made less conspicuous.
“I think it’s something we can use, put a planter around it. Make some kind of box.”
In fact, UGI said it’s teaming up with Lehigh University to design some sort of cover for meters like the ones in Honesdale.
For now, like them or not, the meters are staying put.