Warren Township's participation in a complaint against JCP&L, filed in November 2011 after the company's response to power outages after Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm left thousands of residents without power for up to a week, ended last week after the township agreed to term of a settlement.
The township joined a complaint filed with the state Board of Public Utilities initiated by Robbinsville Township, but Robbinsville had withdrawn earlier after also reaching a settlement with the company.
The settlement includes provisions by JCP&L to name a single contact person township officials can communicate with during emergency situations, as well as the company's already-improved website outage map for town-specific information.
The company also agreed to provide quarterly schedules for trimming trees around power lines, and to work with the township to address any known trouble spots.
"I think clearly what was accomplished was tree trimming, which was one of our goals, and communications," Township Administrator Mark Krane said.
Krane said the company will check quarterly for trees needing trimming in each of its four service areas in Warren—work to trim around lines served by the company's Dead River Road substation began in August.
JCP&L has already implemented some other communication improvements, such as making better use of social media: the company tweeted updates on power outages following Tuesday's storms at @jcp_l, and on its Facebook page (although those updates were not specific to particular areas).
According to Krane, possibly the settlement the main outcome of the settlement is the communication now established.
"That action was helpful with having a dialogue," Krane said. "Most importantly, they listened to us."