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Letter: Empower Towns to Arrange for Utility Restoration

By Joe Kaliko

 

Letter to the Editor:


Idea:

If we can' get POWER back to a given town on a timely basis; let's EMPOWER a town to get the job done!

The following is just an example.

EMPOWERMENT.. Mitigates frustration, incents the utilities (with "back billing" looming), and gives citizens a sense something can and is being done, when the utilities are overwhelmed.

New legislation.

X days (for example 2), no power; then any town so affected can make repairs on their own to restore power by importing pre-arranged out of state service/repair providers.

Towns, like Greenwich, enter into service contracts that enable a given town to directly import help on their own after statutory period of no power elapses. Liked the idea!

Towns front service contract fees; back bill to instate utility. Hold harmless for town and its contractors.

Allow the utility to assign a "team leader" for each team brought in, in order to coordinate efforts, maximize safety and avoid collateral damage to larger system.

This sense of EMPOWERMENT for towns will help physically to restore service; and psychologically for citizens.

Let's draft a BACK BILLING INITIATIVE before the next disaster strikes.

Note: The state has recently adopted (called "PURA" regulations) after hurricane Irene that were not a bad first step...but my idea goes beyond fines, better communication and pre-arranged out of state contractor concept, WHERE CLP IS IN CHARGE.

Why rely on the unreliable?

 CLP will still look out for its bottom line if pre planned contractors are allowed in the future by PURA regs to be hired by the utility. In Hurricane, many contractors ostensibly hired by CLP never showed!

I still think EMPOWERING THE TOWNS THEMSELVES to take unilateral actions that are back billable to CLP....with the state's blessing, is the way to go.

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