Jul 29, 2014

Utility Companies Continue to Frustrate Township

Lack of communication between utility companies and township and residents is a chief issue.

Utility Companies Continue to Frustrate Township

Mayor David Stahl told the Township Council Monday that while utility companies responded better to Hurricane Sandy than they did to last year’s Hurricane Irene, there is still much room for improvement.

Many residents were without power for two weeks or more, and even now there are utility poles leaning over roads, sagging power lines, and much more work to do.

He said the most frustrating thing for him and for residents was the lack of information coming from the utility companies.

“The frustration always lies in the source of information, which comes from power companies, whether it’s JCP&L or PSE&G,” he said.

He said that when the power is out, township employees can’t hang wires, or put up utility poles, but what he can do is talk to the Board of Public Utilities about ways to improve.

“I will say they did a better job then they did over Irene, but there remains a lot of work to be done and I plan to speak during hearings at BPU, which regulates them,” he said.

Township Administrator James White agreed, saying that a chief issue was that no one one knew what the plan was, and when the township police department is without power for four days, but stores like McDonalds and Chili’s on Route 18 have it, he is left wondering about the companies’ priorities.

“The best thing we can do is learn and go forward,” he said. “Part of the frustration residents, myself (and the Township Council) had is the total lack of knowledge and understanding as to, how they go about their work. I told them that I would love to see them, and I think state legislators should demand, have town halls and educate people about how they go about business, what their priorities are, what steps they take and how they plan…four days in, police station did not yet have power, and McDonalds and Chilis did.”

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