Village Hears Plans for ComEd Service Improvements
The utility tells trustees how it plans to improve its service following last summer's fiasco
Time has a way of cooling anger and venom. And that certainly applies to Commonwealth Edison--even with irate customers who lost power last summer. However, the issue of system reliability has not been forgotten and continues to be addressed.
At Tuesday’s Village Board meeting, Glenview trustees received details of a plan by the utility to make improvements in the electrical infrastructure so the chances of additional power outages will be reduced.
Read more: Glenview Hit Hard by Summer Storms, Outages
Eric Duray, ComEd’s external affairs manager for the north region, said the utility has already begun to clear vegetation and tree branches from the nearby lines in the Park Manor/Robincrest and Swainwood neighborhoods, in addition to Virginia Lane and Covert Road.
That work should be done by the end of December. Meanwhile, thousands of feet of a new thick type of cable are scheduled to be in place by the end of March. This new, thicker cable should be able to withstand the force of branches, so if debris does fall in bad weather, as what happened earlier this year, service cuts can be avoided. Glen Oak Acres and the Indigo areas are other parts of the village scheduled to receive the thicker type of cable.
Duray added that Glenview is not being treated differently than other city or village in this review process. “We try and treat all municipalities equally,” he said. “Every municipality had concerns as we came out of the summer storms.”
Jerome Burke, Glenview’s Public Works Director, has been satisfied with what he has seen thus far in the process from the ComEd crews.
“We’ve seen a lot of the vegetation trimming in the community (throughout) the village and have looked at some of their engineering design and where they plan to install all of their (new) cables in a number of different locations," Burke said. "They have kept us informed when they are working in town. They have been updating us since the Sept. 6th meeting."
Trustees appeared more or less pleased with what progress ComEd has made to this point and agreed to the timetable the utility presented moving forward.
“I know that it takes time to put together engineering plans, particularly when they are putting in new cables,” said Village President Kerry Cummings. “We have a commitment from them to get started in January and have it finished by March. I know that our staff will work with ComEd to make sure those goals are accomplished.”
However, the utility will not face a penalty if the work is still ongoing after the end of March, which could be delayed given the unpredictably of Chicago area winters.
“But they would certainly have to answer to our residents and our regional residents and I know that would be a lot of incentive to get this program completed," Cummings said. "They know we are very closely watching it."
All of the promises made by ComEd were not enough to placate Lyle Cazel, a longtime resident of Glenview and a persistent ComEd critic, who said he has heard promises before about improvements to the system that have never been made. He said he been down this road before and was very skeptical regarding the chances that promises would be kept.
“They should not be allowed to treat us the way they do and it has been going on for decades," he said.
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