The township announced today that it will join a petition to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilties filed by the Township of Robbinsville."
In a statement issued Frday afternoon, the township said "The Township Committee has authorized the Township Attorney, Jeffrey Lehrer, to file a petition with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to join a previous action filed by the Township of Robbinsville as a result of the poor response by Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) during both Hurricane Irene and the Nor’easter snow event which began on Oct. 29, 2011. This action is being filed on Nov. 4, 2011."
Robbinsville filed a petition on Nov. 1 seeking $95,000 in compensation for expenses incurred by the township during Hurricane Irene, when the township was without power for five days, as well as revocation of JCP&L's franchise for the township.
Township Administrator Mark Krane said Warren is not necessarily seeking the same resolution in joining the petition.
"Our primary objective is to deal with the systematic issues and the methodology of how (the power outage) was handled," he said. "This will give us some time to put our issues on the plate and we'll decide if we want to change our petition later."
Krane cited the company's work schedules and other policies that contributed to the ongoing power outage, including taking five days to restore power to the center of town and the traffic signal for the only north-south route open to commuters between I-78 and Route 22 for many miles.
"I will tell you that because of our location, our residents feel like they're last in," he said, pointing out Warren is at the southern edge of a large area served by JCP&L.
Here's the complete statement by the township:
The Warren Township Committee, the Warren Police Department, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and the Municipal offices, have been diligently working to assist in the restoration of power in Warren Township due to the recent nor’easter.
The Township Committee has authorized the Township Attorney, Jeffrey Lehrer, to file a petition with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to join a previous action filed by the Township of Robbinsville as a result of the poor response by Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) during both Hurricane Irene and the Nor’easter snow event which began on Oct. 29, 2011. This action is being filed on Nov. 4, 2011.
The Township has worked with representatives of JCP&L to obtain the timeliest information and to ensure that power is restored. According to JCP&L, as of 4 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2011, approximately 300 customers remain to be restored. Township officials will continue to advocate the concerns of the residents until power is restored. Mayor DiNardo and the Township Committee have visited with line crews and residents, spoke to President Donald Lynch of JCP&L, and have worked with our Legislative delegation, and the Governor’s office, to ensure power restoration.
The Warren Office of Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Stonecrest Community Church, has operated a warming shelter from Monday through Thursday and has provided assistance in manning telephones and handling residents concerns. The Township Committee appreciates the generous time offered by OEM volunteers and members of the Stonecrest Community Church.
Chief Russell Leffert and the Warren Police Department have identified areas in need of restoration and assisted JCP&L in ensuring the safety of their crews.
Township municipal staff have dealt with many residents concerns and ensured that the complaints of residents were forwarded to the proper authorities.
Public Works crews have worked many hours, clearing roads of snow and debris and will continue to work to remove the existing debris remaining on the roads. Public Works crews will only be clearing debris from the right-of-way. Debris generated from anywhere other than the right-of-way will not be removed by Public Works staff.
The Township Committee understands the frustrations and concerns of residents and will work to ensure the full restoration of power as quickly as possible. The Committee will take appropriate action to ensure that JCP&L addresses the systematic concerns which may have led to the significant damage in order to avoid this occurrence in the future.