County officials concerned about power outages

March 22, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - An Allegheny Energy official was questioned Thursday about repeated electrical power interruptions in Jefferson County, an issue that was recently mentioned as possibly being a hindrance in attracting new business.

Jefferson County Commission member James K. Ruland said that in the last 48 hours, the power at his house on the Blue Ridge Mountain has gone out about seven times.

Sometimes the power goes out only for a second or two, but it is enough to interrupt electrical clocks and other household appliances, Ruland and the other commissioners said.

"The momentaries are a nuisance," said Jay Mason, manager of local government affairs for Allegheny Energy.

Although Mason was not sure what was causing the outages, he said the short interruptions are sometimes designed to protect customers from long outages.


Mason said he would contact other officials within Allegheny Energy to determine what is causing the interruptions.

Ruland said the problem seems to exist throughout the county. "We get this comment all the time from people in all points of the county," said Ruland.

The issue was mentioned in a proposal for a new comprehensive plan being considered for the county.

The report, developed by Tustian and Associates, said many residents in the county are experiencing "short brownouts."

The report suggested county officials address the issue because it could be an obstacle in attracting companies that are heavily reliant on fast Internet connections.

Mason was recently hired as the new manager of local government affairs for the power company, and told the commissioners that he would act as a liaison between local governments and the power company in addressing any power issues that might arise.

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