VILLAGE OF BRONXVILLE, NY — October 23, 2018 — Given the extremely porous nature of the ground so early in the Fall, Con Edison has ratcheted up their program to address hazardous trees, not only in the public right of way but on private property, to minimize customer outages.
In a pilot program, in partnership with the town of Cortlandt, Con Edison has identified hazardous trees and is working with certified arborists, municipal officials and property owners to allow Con Ed to remove private trees as necessary.
Given the frequency and severity of rain storms of late, much lower wind conditions can cause trees to become uprooted or dangerously list. We encourage residents to do a seasonal check on your tree inventory before the winter months.
As a direct result of last winter’s much criticized response to storm events, Con Edison has taken a much more proactive approach to mitigate the length and severity of future outages in Westchester County.
The following are a sampling of their new initiatives recently communicated to municipal officials:
• A $100 million capital program to upgrade overhead systems including stronger poles, smart switches and break away power lines
• Recruitment of outside contractors and utilities to retain their services prior to storms
• Collaborate for better and faster mutual aid from other utility companies
• Securing bucket trucks for deployment to utility crews that are flown into the area
• Work directly with municipalities to identify critical arteries and facilities that should be restored as a priority and have contractors employed and at the ready to begin to clean roads.
• Upgrade the IT system to improve timeliness and accuracy of restoration information
• Based on customer feedback and on site crew evaluation, communicate with customers with daily texts, email or phone updates.
These efforts are laudable but it remains to be seen if they improve the Con Edison track record of late.
When and if you should lose power in the coming months, the process for reporting has also been streamlined.
As a caveat, you still must report your house outage even if the entire neighborhood is out and logic dictates that Con Edison should know of your situation.
There are now multiple ways to communicate with Con Ed:
• Report using the Con Edison app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
• Text REG to OUTAGE (688243) and follow the prompts to register. Log in to My Account to get your account number, or check your bill for the account number. Once registered, text OUT to OUTAGE (688243).
• Call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
To check the status of a restoration, use any of the following:
• Go to coned.com/StormCentral and see “Check Status” or “View Outage Map.”
• Check the Con Edison mobile app from your iPhone, iPad and Android device.
• Once you register for text alerts (see above), text “STATUS” to OUTAGE (688243).
• Call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
Due to safety concerns, the Village DPW can play only a minimal role in tree branch and debris removal if near or intertwined with live or untested wires.
In other news, the Comptroller of the State of New York also recently released a report on the financial health of New York State government and to no one’s surprise, our relationship to the federal government remains inequitable.
In 2017, New York was one of eleven states that sent more money to Washington than it received back in federal aid. We received roughly 90 cents on the dollar resulting in a deficit of $24 billion. (This actually improved from only a year prior when we received 84 cents for every dollar we sent to D.C. for an imbalance of $40 billion). Since the federal government supplies one-third of New York State’s annual budget, the numbers are critical to the cost of living here.
Only New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts got back less than New York last year with the national average of monetary return to states of $1.19 per dollar sent to Washington. On a per capita basis, Connecticut leads the nation with $14,671 per person in federal budget obligation with New York close behind at $12,588 and Mississippi in last place at $5,884.
The Village also recently received rainfall data from Westchester County on the recent storm.
The amount of water we received was the highest per two hour period ever recorded at 2.81 inches vs the second highest during Irene at 2.17 inches. In light of the intensity of the rainfall in such a compact period, the engineers have already lowered the wet wells by 18 inches to accelerate the onset of pumping.
As of today, 200 of the 400 storm sewer drains have been cleaned throughout the Village and the project continues.
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Mary C. Marvin is the mayor of the Village of Bronxville, New York. Share your thoughts by directing email to email@example.com