Somers resident Josephine Bastone reminded the Town Board last week of all the power outages she has experienced at her Manor Lane home over recent years.
Bastone has addressed the board on several occasions in the past about the loss of NYSEG service. In 2017, she experienced 14 power outages and so far this year she lost power eight times.
Somers town officials have been sharing Bastone’s frustrations and have taken several actions in recent months, including the formation of the Power Grid Task Force., headed by Councilmen Thomas Garrity Jr. and Richard Clinchy.
At last week’s Town Board meeting, Supervisor Rick Morrissey explained what the town has been doing to limit power outages.
During the special Town Board meeting on April 27, there was a discussion of concerns from the Power Grid Task Force and other town officials about frequent power outages. Officials from NYSEG said a $2 million infrastructure project was underway for the Heritage Hills Housing complex.
Clinchy said at the April 27 meeting NYSEG representatives told the Town Board, “We have to do better.”
NYSEG is the process or restoring or upgrading the seven reclosers in town, Morrissey said. A recloser is circuit breaker with a mechanism that can close if opened because of fault.
Garrity said NYSEG representatives told the Town Board in April that in recent years the utility reinstated its vegetation management program, which includes the trimming and cutting of trees in the NYSEG right of ways after the program had been previously discontinued. Morrissey said five years was too long for each area of town to be part of the vegetation management program and a shorter cycle was needed for the town.
Morrissey said last week the town has filed a complaint with the state Public Service Commission against NYSEG. Officials from the state agency have come to Somers to investigate the complaint, he said.
Morrissey said he has joined many of his fellow town leaders from the area to meet in January and April with the new NYSEG President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Taylor to speak about their concerns about the power outages.
At last week’s meeting, the Task Force accepted a request from the town’s Energy Environment Committee to allow three of its members to join the Task Force.
The NYSEG representatives will come back to the Town Board with additional information and answers to questions posed at the April meeting and another special meeting will be held on a date to be determined.