Chatham Borough Lauds Administrator, First Responders, Madison; JCP&L? Not So Much; Calls For Underground Wires

Chatham resident Fran Drew urged the council to find a way to install underground power lines in the borough Credits: TAP Chatham
Steve Williams, Chatham Borough Administrator, received high praise for his marathon service during the storm and power outage Credits: TAP Chatham
Chatham resident Rozella Clyde asked the borough council to find out the cost being incurred by such storms to compare against an investment in underground wires Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Borough Administrator Steve Williams received high praise for his work during Winter Storm Quinn on Monday night when the Borough of Chatham Council held its regular meeting and assessed the JCP&L response to the power outages experienced over the last week.

Williams received applause from the mayor and council and those in attendance for his work to inform Chatham Borough residents through AlertChathamBorough messages and his coordinated communication with JCP&L and others. 

Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris recognized Williams for his efforts during the storm recovery

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In turn, Williams recognized Chatham's first responders and neighboring Madison which sent members from its town electric company to help restore power to borough residents.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick also received thanks for breaking through the "red tape" that allowed for Madison's electric company workers to help alleviate the workload in Chatham.

"We asked Jon Bramnick for some assistance in getting through some of the red tape," Williams said. "JCP&L President Jim Fakult authorized Madison to come in. They were in town (Monday) and in three hours completed 10 service hookups."

The Morris County Office of Emergency Management reported Tuesday that "the Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) estimates for damages and resource allocation associated with the recent, back-to-back Winter Storm Riley and Winter Storm Quinn, which slammed the county, causing extensive damage and power outages. Based on the data received from municipalities, the current estimated costs total $1,920,090 for Winter Storm Riley and $3,785,774 for Winter Storm Quinn, for a total of $5.7 million, and counting.

"The Morris County total takes into consideration all expenses associated with county and municipal government, inclusive of schools. It is expected to rise when costs come in from about several towns that have yet to submit estimates."

JCP&L was criticized at the council meeting for being unprepared and council member Peter Hoffman said his biggest complaint was the erroneous information that was being given in communication with the power company.

During the public portion of the meeting, Chatham Borough residents Rozella Clyde and Fran Drew called for underground wires as a possible cost-saving measure.

Rozella Clyde says the county told her it would cost a $1 million a mile to put power wires underground

Fran Drew gave a number of example of how towns around the country have put wires underground.


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