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Central NJ Mayor Seeks To Kick Utility Out Of Town [AUDIO]

Flickr User Harmonica Pete

A central New Jersey elected official isn’t waiting around to find out the results of the state Board of Public Utilities’ hearings into how power companies performed after Hurricane Irene.

Citing five days of service interruptions and lack of regard for public safety, Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried has taken matters into his own hands, filing a complaint to throw Jersey Central Power & Light out of town.

The complaint, filed Tuesday with the state BPU, seeks $95,000 in restitution for the cost of expenses the town racked up during the hurricane. “We had costs for police and fire patrols, overtime, water stations, significant costs that could have been avoided if they had put the crews on that they said they were going to put on” said Fried.

It also asks the BPU to allow PSE&G, which serves half the customers in town, to be the primary utility. “It was so frustrating during the hurricane when neighbors were looking across the street to see one side of the street had power and they were sitting in the dark because of lack of communication and response times with JCP&L.”

JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano had no comment and said the company had not yet reviewed the complaint. He said they are focusing all efforts on restoring service to the remaining customers with outages from this latest nor’easter.

Fried said he was mainly frustrated by the inaccurate information he received during the storm. “If you don’t have the personnel or if the crews are on their way, just tell me that, be honest, then I can plan for my residents, but if I don’t know the truth and you’re telling me that power will be up in an hour and I saw firsthand there were no crews on site, then I find that offensive.”

JCP&L has 20 days to respond.

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