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Legislators, Town Officials Push NYSEG to Reduce Outages, Upgrade Infrastructure

Monticello, NY – In response to residents’ and businesses’ deep concerns about ongoing power outages in the towns of Highland and Tusten, local officials met this past Tuesday, February 11, with top regional representatives of NYSEG to discuss solutions.

“Constituents in my district have told me how incredibly disruptive and dangerous these repeated outages have become. More than 100 power failures have occurred in 2019 alone,” Sullivan County Legislature Chairman and District 1 Legislator Rob Doherty stated. “NYSEG has to take action, and I initiated this meeting with them to ensure that happens. We can’t let this continue any longer.”

“It’s a huge inconvenience to everyone, especially those working from home or dependent on electrically powered medical equipment,” agreed District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, who represents a portion of the Town of Highland. “Considering the impacts on our health and economy, it’s imperative NYSEG expedites a fix to this ongoing problem.”

NYSEG representatives told the officials (including Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas and Tusten Supervisor Ben Johnson) that what’s known as the Yulan Circuit is aging and prone to failures. They are planning to replace that infrastructure once a rate increase is approved by New York State. In the meantime, they are increasing the ranks of linemen and have already embarked on an aggressive forestry management program, cutting away branches and trees which threaten to take down powerlines.

“NYSEG does have a rate increase in front of the NYS Public Service Commission, for which they are in hearings currently. But it seems like our repair schedule will be altered if they do not receive the increase,” related Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas of what he was told during the meeting. “This is a much-needed, 10-year project upgrade for the Yulan area, which currently has the worst circuitry in NYSEG’s NYS district. Our infrastructure is 1930s-vintage – we deserve better.”