As power outages across the county are seemingly happening more and more often, the Susquehanna County Commissioners, along with State Rep. Jonathan Fritz, have set up a closed-door meeting with the Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) to discuss the issue, said commissioners at the Wednesday, Oct. 26 meeting.
Commissioner Alan Hall expressed concern about the power outages that are lasting longer with less severe weather being the cause.
Falling tree limbs are a major part of the problem, Hall said power companies have let trimming go for “so long that a limb comes down and hits the wire” taking down the electric lines.
The outages come at a cost to county residents, Hall said, from those receiving in-home medical treatments – such as dialysis – to the loss of food in family freezers. “People have a lot of money tied up in food,” he said. “They can’t afford to throw it away because they have no power.”
Hall also warned that the county has not yet seen the full effect of falling trees. “It’s just getting started,” he warned.
The commissioners have been working to get a public meeting with the PUC for several months. Hall said the PUC asked to meet virtually, but the county pushed for an in-person discussion. A closed door, invitation only, meeting that includes elected officials and emergency responders is now planned.
The commissioners also approved the following at the meeting:
*contract with Samsara for the lease, licensing, software and updates on dual facing cameras, at an annual cost of $26,580, effective through Oct. 31, 2025;
*purchase of four exhaust fans for the Recycling Center at a cost of $7,680;
*contract with Johnson Controls Fire Protection for the courthouse and county buildings access control system, including hardware, installation and programming at a total cost of $221,130 paid with PComp/PCorp grants and Supervision funds;
*purchase of new desktop computers from Dell Technologies, including licensing and support, at a cost of $127,050.75.
The commissioners also ratified and approved a change order credit of $129,846 for William H. Lane Inc. for the public safety building. Hall said he expects additional cost adjustments – up and down – related to the building project.
The retirement of Donald Cronk, from the position of corrections officer, effecting Oct. 30, was accepted – with regret – by the commissioners. County Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold offered her thanks to Cronk for his years of dedicated service to the county.