NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council honored the New Providence Public Works Department (DPW) Staff for their commitment and dedication to the borough at its Monday, May 21 meeting. The council also designated May 21-26, 2018 as Public Works Appreciation Week. Mayor Al Morgan read a proclamation commending the DPW.

“Public works infrastructure, facilities and services are of vital important to the health, safety and well-being of the residents of New Providence. The extensive infrastructure of New Providence could not be maintained without the efforts of our dedicated public works professionals,” the proclamation read.

Furthermore, the proclamation pointed out that “the employees of the New Providence Department of Public Works deserve recognition for their hard work in making New Providence an attractive and desirable place to live and work”. The proclamation also touted the DPW staff for enduring long hours under dangerous conditions when dealing with extreme weather events. Moreover, the proclamation complimented the DPW staff for their dedicated efforts in ensuring that the public spaces of the community are well maintained and attractive, athletic facilities well groomed, and streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure kept in safe condition.

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Morgan especially thanked the DPW for their efforts during the March storms. “You work together as a family,” he said. Sometimes it is difficult to coordinate everything, but somehow you always do it, he said to Jim Johnston, Director of the New Providence DPW.

With regard to other news Rob Walton of JCP&L provided the council with his monthly report. He also noted the effects of the two March snow storms on the utility. Approximately half of the JCP&L customers lost power during the March 2 storm. Walton pointed out that during severe storms the first priority is to clear roads so that the crew can safely address power outages.

Morgan noted that tree pruning in the past couple of years has helped New Providence in dealing with storms. Morgan and the council also expressed their gratitude to Walton for keeping New Providence officials informed during storms and during power restoration processes.  

Council President Robert Munoz asked Walton if JCP&L is considering underground wiring in the future. Walton noted that so far the underground wiring has been cost-prohibitive as it costs approximately $1 million per mile. He also said that it may be more difficult to detect the source of an outage with underground wiring. If the utility were to upgrade to an underground wiring system rates would increase fourfold. However, underground wiring may be a necessity in the future, he stated.