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Middletown Mayor Helps Organize JCP&L Response Summit

Monmouth County officials gathered in Tinton Falls for discussion of utility company's service during and after Hurricane Sandy

Officials from Monmouth County towns gathered at Tinton Falls Borough Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss and critique Jersey Central Power and Light's (JCP&L) service and communication during Hurricane Sandy. 

Most officials in attendance agreed that JCP&L did not effectively communicate with their towns during the hurricane and that many were left without the information they needed to get out to residents.

"It was absolutely poor execution by JCP&L," Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik said.

"A little anger and venting is exactly what JCP&L needs to hear," Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said.

The discussion was hosted by Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera and Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.

"The goal for today is not for this to become a gripe session," Fiore said. "We wanted to meet, get feedback and go through the proper channels to get this information out."

"This is a utility company that we do not control, so we want to think of what things we can do for the next time this happens," Skudera said.

Fiore outlined some ideas that he had come up with that he felt could improve JCP&L's communication with towns.

  • JCP&L's update calls with mayors should be regional and not statewide;
  • How outages are reported needs to be addressed;
  • A need for better communication between JCP&L and Verizon;
  • JCP&L needs a better understanding of each town's grid;
  • JCP&L needs to know which streets are a priority in town when outages are reported;
  • Towns needs to know what JCP&L's infrastructure improvements are.

The mayors and office of emergency management officials also met to have a round-table discussion about JCP&L, but that part of the meeting was not open to the public or media.

Holmdel Mayor Patrick Impreveduto said whatever decisions were made by the officials should be given to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

"We need to have them expedite what we are trying to do," Impreveduto said.

Freeholder Tom Arnone agreed and said JCP&L must show its capital plan with the county and municipalities.

"The JCP&L representatives we talked to had no answers for us," Arnone said.

Linda Vanetti November 20, 2012 at 10:28 PM
As far as communication between JCP&L and Verizon, we waited almost a year for a telephone pole to be taken down in front of our house. Why? Because JCP&L said it was Verizon's responsibility and Verizon said it was JCP&L's responsibility. This is the kind of frustrating nonsense we customers have to go through
Reg November 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Trees near power lines were trimmed in Middletown about a week or so before Sandy hit. I saw this being done in my neighborhood.
KS November 21, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Vicki, thanks for your helpful comments. We are also considering the purchase of a whole house generator hooked up to the natural gas line. Would you be willing to share some details about the generator purchase, including the peripheral expenses, such as the permit, the electrician for the changes to your circuit board, and the mason to create the concrete pad under the whole house generator? Any information that you could provide regarding those items and the generatr selection process would be very valuable to Patch readers considering a similar purchase. Thanks, and happy Thanksgiving.
Reg November 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I hope Middletown follows in Red Bank's footsteps and asks BPU to Investigate JCP&L. http://redbank.patch.com/articles/red-bank-calls-for-changes-asks-bpu-to-investigate-jcp-l
NJarhead November 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Trimming limbs near or in contact with power lines is the responsibility of the utility: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/dam/customer/billinserts/Veg-Management-JCPL-8-11.pdf

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