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Monmouth County Officials Draft Resolution For JCP&L Improvement

Monmouth County officials are taking JCP&L management to task. 

JCP&L Staging Area
JCP&L Staging Area (FirstEnergy Corp., Flickr)

According to a media advisory released by Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera, a ten point resolution that offers, “constructive and proactive ways for for the management of JCP&L to improve their overall level of service to the resident and municipalities that they serve” will be forwarded to JCP&L as well as various government organizations throughout the state. The list includes the NJ Board of Public Utilities, Monmouth Freeholders, the state assembly and legislature, and the governor’s office.

Skudera and Middletown Mayor Anthony Fiore drafted the resolution based on comments and concerns raised during the Third Annual Tinton Falls Snow Summit. The summits began in the wake of the blizzard of 2010 as a way for officials in Monmouth municipalities to share ideas and discuss ways to improve their response efforts in relation to weather emergencies.

Skudera and Fiore acknowledge the efforts of JCP&L as well as out-of-state crews who came to aid in the recuperation of power lines and downed trees after Sandy ripped through the Garden State. The resolution seeks to get JCP&L management to rethink and improve current levels of service.

The resolution’s ten-point agenda outlines suggestions for future storm recuperation as well as for improving current operations, including an overhaul of the way JCP&L currently allows municipalities to register priority areas. Other areas of concern include relocating substations that currently exist in flood prone areas, providing municipalities with a detailed understanding of how their local grid works, and enhancing the current call center to a more regionally-based system.

Skudera and Fiore are working together to get the resolution in front of the Board of Public Utilities in the near future.

Below is a copy of the resolution in its entirety.

COUNTY OF MONMOUTH

 

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE TOP 10 WAYS FOR (JERSEY CENTRAL POWER & LIGHT) JCP&L TO IMPROVE IT OVERALL LEVEL OF SERVICE TO MUNICIPALITIES AND CUSTOMERS THAT IT SERVES BASED ON THE COLLECTIVE RECOMMENDATIONS OF MONMOUTH COUNTY MAYORS DURING THE 3RD ANNUAL SNOW SUMMIT HELD IN THE BOROUGH OF TINTON FALLS

 

WHEREAS, Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera and Middletown Mayor Anthony Fiore co-hosted the 3rd Annual Snow Summit in the Borough of Tinton Falls, NJ; and

 

WHEREAS, these summits were started after the blizzard of 2010 by Mayor Michael Skudera as a way for municipalities to come together and share services, exchange ideas, and discuss ways to improve their response and cleanup efforts relating to winter weather and other weather emergencies; and

 

WHEREAS, the 3rd Annual Snow Summit focused on proactive and constructive ways for JCP&L to improve their overall level of service and communications to the municipalities and customers that they serve after the devastating effects of Sandy and a Nor’easter that subsequently followed; and

 

WHEREAS, the Mayors of Monmouth County collectively discussed ways in how JCP&L should improve their overall level of service and agreed on a top 10 list of items to be forwarded to JCP&L, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the New Jersey State Assembly, New Jersey State Legislature, and the Office of the Governor of New Jersey.

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the {Insert Municipality Name}, in the County of Monmouth, New Jersey, the following suggestions and action items are fully supported as follows:

 

  1. Regional Conference Calls: Smaller, regional conference calls between JCP&L and the mayors would provide greater detailed information and increase interactions compared to the current statewide conference calls.
  2. Process Redesign:Provide an easy to use, web-based process for municipalities to register priority areas with JCP&L instead of the current process of JCP&L informing municipalities of their perceived priorities. Such priorities should include but not be limited to the following: hospitals, schools, senior complexes, nursing homes, group homes, schools, sewer pumping stations, major traffic intersections, and emergency services infrastructure.
    1. Substations: A web-based process should exist for municipalities to request that JCP&L relocate substations that are in flood zones or other hazardous areas prone to storm damage.
    2. Recurring Outage Areas: A web-based process should exist for municipalizes to register problem areas that frequently lose power with JCP&L so the areas can be inspected and a long-term solution could be provided.
  3. Power Grid: JCP&L should provide each municipality with an understanding of how their local power grid works and how it affects the community. Such information should include but not be limited to physical or electronic maps depicting power stations, transmission lines, and transformers that could eventually be incorporated into municipal GIS systems.
  4. Proactive Tree Trimming: JCP&L should work with municipalities and homeowners to identify, plan, and coordinate a long-term proactive effort to prune trees in the municipality
  5. On-Site Support – JCP&L should establish a fair and equitable formula to provide on-site support to a municipality based on the overall population of each municipality during severe weather events. As an example, for each 5,000 residents in a municipality’s population, JCP&L should provide one on-site support resource that will work with a municipality Office of Emergency Management. This will enable issues to be reported faster and allow for greater communications and productivity between the municipalities and JCP&L. Currently municipalities share a JCP&L representative who may cover several towns and is located off-site.
  6. Intra-Utility Communications: JCP&L should outline its process to municipalities on how it intends to provide greater communication and coordination between itself and other supportive utilities including but not limited to Verizon, Comcast, and NJ Natural Gas. Currently there is a lag time between the utilities and for example Verizon will erect a new poll that will set there for days before JCP&L fixes the wires.
  7. Capital Plan: JCP&L should provide each municipal with an overall understanding and commitment to long term infrastructure improvements which should include but not be limited to power lines, equipment, and employees. This plan should be updated every year and sent to each municipality.
  8. Dedicated Crews: JCP&L should provide each municipality with information on how many trucks are working in each town with a focus on keeping dedicated crews in each town during severe weather. Currently JCP&L crews are spending time traveling to sites at different locations in different towns and are not working in one section at a time. JCP&L crews should work directly with the municipalities Office of Emergency Management to determine effected areas and set priorities rather than having the operations being run remotely from an off-site location.
  9. Communication Upgrades: JCP&L should provide each municipality with an outline on how it intends to upgrade its overall communications with the residents and municipalizes that they service. This should include but not be limited to the following:
    1. Web Services: JCP&L should include the addition of Web Services using the XML (Extensible Markup Language), SOAP (SOAP Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services Description Language) and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) open standards to allow municipalities to directly consume data into their internal systems rather than continually having to manually monitor and check the JCP&L website for relevant updates and information. Web Services would greatly increase the communications to municipalities and should include street-by-street updates and time estimates.
    2. Internet Upgrades – The aforementioned section should also be included on the website of JCP&L and in addition, a color-coded map should be included visibly displaying the outages at a street level.
    3. Emergency Alerts – JCP&L should provide its plans to each municipality on how it indents to advertise and use an emergency alert (reverse 911) system to provide its customers with relevant information to their home phones, cell phone, and mobile devices.
  10. Enhanced Call Center: JCP&L should outline and provide each municipality with its plans to overhaul and enhance its customer call center and look for ways to make it more regionally-based. Currently during power outages, municipalities are taking thousands of calls per day and are not provided with relevant information from JCP&L.

 

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