Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Wrentham bylaw committee will consider utility maintenance bylaw proposed by State Rep. Dan Winslow.
The Wrentham Selectmen decided to refer a proposed utility bylaw — which would allow the town to require better line maintenance from utility companies — to the town bylaw committee. The bylaw proposal has been put forward by State Rep. Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk) in the wake of the extended power outages caused by Tropical Storm Irene and the Snowtober snowstorm. Town Administrator William Ketcham said the selectmen had previously considered the matter, and had asked for feedback from him and Department of Public Works Superintendent Irving Priest. "Mr. Priest and I were asked to comment on this, which we did," he said. "What wasn't clear was whether the board wanted to include the bylaw in the warrant for the town meeting or simply refer it …
Monday, February 27, 2012
Wrentham's state representative, Dan Winslow, sends model bylaw for town meeting consideration.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Wrentham's State Representative, Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), has sent a model local bylaw to the Massachusetts Municipal Association that, if adopted by local town meetings or city councils, would allow municipalities to require better maintenance of utility lines by utility companies to reduce the risk of extended power outages from tree damage after storms. Wrentham experienced significant power outages as a result of Tropical Storm Irene this past August and the Snowtober snowstorm. "The utilities have spent millions on lobbyists at the State House to block pending legislation which would increase competition or create incentives for better management of our power grid," said Winslow. "But lobbyists have zero influence at a local town …
Friday, February 17, 2012
Tropical Storm Irene, Snowtober prompted bill passage.
The Massachusetts State Senate passed a bill on Thursday looking to improve utility company response during emergencies. The effects of Tropical Storm Irene and the Snowtober snowstorm were cited as part of the rationale for the bill. Those storms left Wrentham without power for an extended period of time. According to a release from State Senator Richard Ross' (R-Wrentham) office, the bill requires utility companies to update customers twice daily on estimated power restoration times. The companies must also send personnel to communicate with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and designate a liason for each community. “I am thrilled that we are taking the steps necessary to remedy the poor emergency response plans exhibited by…
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Massachusetts senators Scott Brown and John Kerry ask for review of nation's electric grid.
A number of U.S. senators, including Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), have called for a review of the nation's electric grid reliability in the wake of multiple, lengthy outages. The senators issued their call in a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wrentham has seen multi-day outages this year, following Tropical Storm Irene and the snowstorm in October. The outages, and a perceived delayed response from National Grid, caused anger at the utility company. The snowstorm left more than 672,000 customers without power in Massachusetts. Brown said in a statement that a reliable grid is important to public safety and area businesses. "This year, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm caused …
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Utility hearing will be held on Dec. 1 at the Attleboro High School.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Department of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing in Attleboro on the performance of the utility companies after Tropical Storm Irene, according to a release from State Sen. Richard Ross' office. The hearing will be held on Dec. 1 at 7pm at the Attleboro High School. "I am pleased that DPU has provided an additional opportunity for the residents of my district to share their concerns regarding the power companies' performance," Ross said in a statment. "Given the fact that the original hearing was canceled due to power outages following a storm, it is more important than ever that DPU understand the issues faced by the communities." "These issues must be dealt with before the next storm hits the Commonwealth," he added. The …
Things to know in Wrentham this Thursday.
Five Things You Need To Know Today is a Patch column that provides readers with essential, daily information at a glance. 1. There will be a yoga class on Thursdays in the Fiske Library from 9:30am to 10:45am. Sign up and a prepayment of $65 is required. 2. The Wrentham Town Clerk's office will be closed today. 3. The Fiske Library will also be selling calendars for $10. 4. Check Wrentham Patch later today for news on a public hearing on the utility companies' response to Tropical Storm Irene. 5. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to catch updates throughout the day.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Generator would help center house seniors in outages.
Wrentham citizens voted to approve a generator for the senior center as part of a capital spending article at Monday night's Special Town Meeting. The generator is intended to keep power at the center in the event of an outage, like the ones experienced after Tropical Storm Irene and the Snowtober snowstorm. Board of Selectmen Chairman Joseph Botaish made an amendment to remove the generator from the article, saying the town was looking to address its shelter needs more fully. "We would like to get a facility to be used in the event of an overnight emergency," he said. "We're looking at converting the school to an emergency shelter." Botaish suggested the town pay to wire the center for a generator, and simply rent a generator as needed. …
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Sen. Scott Brown has endorsed State Rep. Dan Winslow's power outage rebate bill.
State Rep. Daniel Winslow (R-Norfolk) is getting attention for a bill he proposed that would require utility companies to provide rebates for long power outages. Winslow said he proposed the bill after the outages caused by Tropical Storm Irene. "It would require the utilities to rebate customers two days for every one day where they went more than eight hours without power," he said. "The utilities are a monopoly — they're not subject to competitive pressures." He said this bill would incentivize companies to aggressively trim tree limbs and upgrade their power stations. Winslow pointed to the town of Princeton, Mass. as an example. He said Princeton's municipal electrical department worked aggressively after Irene devastated its lines, …
The town looks at its response to the snowstorm.
As Wrentham wraps up its recovery from the late October snowstorm, the town is looking at its response to the event. The storm, like Tropical Storm Irene before it, caused a protracted power outage in the town. It caused multiple power lines to go down, and made several roads nearly impassable with downed tree limbs. Town Administrator William Ketcham said there had been lessons learned from Irene. He said the major improvement involved communication with the utility companies. "This time, there was a utility liaison sent to Wrentham on Sunday, the day after the storm," he said. "With Irene, it was three days later." "Having a person here was a big help," he added. Ketcham said road-clearing had also improved. "All the streets were open to…
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
State and local officials met with National Grid representatives at Attleboro City Hall to discuss Irene debacle.
National Grid President Marcy Reed told a group of local and state officials that the power company is considering a program, which would provide alerts to town officials via text message during emergencies. Reed met with local and state officials at Attleboro City Hall Friday afternoon during a meeting coordinated and led by Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham) to address the company's plan of action in dealing with Tropical Storm Irene, according to a release. Reed told the group of officials including Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas that communications presented the biggest frustration for the company after the storm and that National Grid want to know what kinds of information would be most beneficial to municipalities in what way it should …