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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
March 21, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 21, 2018

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SPIRIT of JEFFERSON PAGE A9 and FARMER'S ADVOCATE NEWS Wednesday, :March 21, 2018 ! W.Va.'s new approach to tree management means a cut to energy bills By JUSTIN GRIFFIN Special to the Spirit Power bills are down slightly in the Eastem Panhandle thanks to savings in tree-trimming costs. The difference in costs ranges around 2 percent, or about $2 for the average household. Todd Meyers, a spokesman with Potomac Edison, said that to trace the roots of the cost reduction, you have to look back to the summer of 2012, when a derecho, a series of powerful storms, pounded the area in one night. "On June 30th of that year, we saw power outages (300,000 in ar- eas served by First Energy, the par- ent company of Potomac Edison) on a scale we have never seen before," Meyers said. "So many customers were knocked out by that storm." Meyers said that after the storm, Potomac Edison and West Virgin- ia Public Service Commission got together and looked at what could have been done differently. "We wanted to know if there are some things that we could do to mit- igate the problems we saw during and after that storm," Meyers said. The answer came in the form of a more aggressive approach to tree trimming around power lines. Instead of merely trimming around power lines and power poles, the approach became one of clearance from ground to sky, meaning that when you're standing underneath a power line you can see the sky. It also means that from the base of a power pole, you can see the sky. The new tree trimming policy went into effect three years ago, and already, the efforts are bearing fruit, The method of cutting trees around power lines has Its origins In the 2012 derecho that pounded much of West Virginia and resulted in disruptions of electrical power that lasted for several days. First Energy spokesman Todd Meyers says the number and severity of power outages have dropped significantly since the new policy was put into effect. as Meyers explained, also agreed that if the effort saved 3,000 miles of power line rights of "We had enough of the power us money that we would pass along way in the Eastern Panhandle and lines in West Virginia trimmed up the savings to the customers," Mey- Western Maryland. to the new specs and we were able ers said. "This is the first time that Since the enhanced tree trimming to compare the new standard versus we've had the numbers to demon- program began in April 2014,forest- the old," Meyers said. "We found strate that we are saving money." ry crews have trimmed trees ground that the instances of power outag- In the last three years, Potomac to sky along more than 19,000 miles es were 20 percent less on the low Edison has hired more than 100of transmission and distribution line end -- and in some cases 50 percent teams that have trimmed 3 million rights of way. There are still 11,000 less." trees and removed 800 damaged miles of lines left to trim. The pro- And with the new specs, power trees from around power lines and gram is expected to finish in 2019. outages are 62 percent shorter than other infrastructure. Storm clearance operations both with the old. The new changes make it easierbefore storms and after, however When Potomac Edison pitched for linemen to get to damaged paw- only represent a percentage of what the plan to the Public Service Cam- er lines and it also helps to ensure Potomac Edison spends on the up- mission, the utility agreed to reduce that fewer lines are damaged be- keep of power lines and infrastruc- power rates for its customers if costs cause fewer trees are close enough ture. In 2017, the utility spent $135 fell, Meyers said. to the lines to do damage in the first million on projects aimed at enhanc- "When we made the agreement place, ing service reliability for customers concerning tree trimming with the Potomac Edison has spent near-in the Eastern Panhandle and West- Public Service Commission, we ly $39 million trimming trees across ern Maryland. A few of those projects included: Work to provide electrical ser- vice to the new Procter & Gamble consumer products manufacturing plant under construction in Berke- ley County. The $8 i million project includes a new distribution substa- tion, upgrades to other nearby sub- stations, and several power lines. About $4.7 million was spent in 2017 with the remainder to follow in 2018. Completion of a new $5 millio power line and substation project under construction in Hardy Coun= ty, along W.Va. 259 that will en- hance service reliability for about 2,200 customers in the Baker and Mathias areas. The project divides the existing 270-mile long circuit - the longest in Potomac Edison's service area - into three shorter seg- ments and also improve service to a nearby compressor station for a ma ; jar natural gas supply pipeline. Upgrades to equipment on abou 266 distribution circuits throughout Potomac Edison's service area at art- estimated cost of nearly $3 million.' The enhancements - installing new wire, cable and fuses -reinforce the electrical system and enhance reli- ability for nearly 400,000 customers in Maryland and West Virginia. Spending $1.1 million to inspect and replace or repair distribution and sub-transmissi0n utility poles in the Potomac Edison service area. Approximately 24,000 utility poles were inspected in 2017, with about 400 expected to be replaced or re- stored. About $3 million of the bud- geted total were for transmission- related projects owned by the Trans Allegheny Interstate Line Company, a FirstEnergy transzpission affiliate. g, leads, support :: : : ::: : Realtor, ABR, CRS 111e a cMl. Ceil: 1-304-671-3183 91 Saratoga Drive, Charles Town, WV 25414 M, Margie Barges, Broker Salon Series concert set for Thursday SHEPHERDSTOWN -- The Atlantic Reed Consort will perform Thtmday as Shepherd University's free Salon Se- ries concert s ries wraps up the year. The music begins at 8 p.m. in the Frank Center's W.H. Shipley Recital Hall. The series is sponsored by Jefferson Security Bank. Atlantic Reed Consort is a quintet made up of Jeremy Koch on saxophone, Emily Snyder on oboe, Brooke Emery on clarinet, Eddie Sanders on bassoon and John Romano on bass clarinet. p.m. March 31 at Big Cork Library FROMPAGE 4 Vineyards in Rohrersville, bringing in the infrastruc- Md. The event, sponsored ture and building our joint by Alexander Design Stu- storm water management dio, Turn the Page Book- system." store and Jefferson Security Tickets are available for Bank, will feature food and the library's next fund- beverages, live entertain- raiser, "A Night Out at Big ment, a wine raffle and an Cork" which begins at 6 optional wine tasting. RANSON - Enjoy a generous portion of spaghetti with homemade meat sauce, garlic toast, salad, dessert and a bev ' erage at a Knights of Pythias fundraiser this weekend. Saturday's meal will be served from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at the Pythian lodge at 105 E. Sixth Ave. in Ranson. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children and free for those 5 and younger. Carryout will be available. Monthly through the spring and again in the fall, Pat Thomp- son and other volunteers put on the dinners, with proceeds go, ing to Blue Ridge Lodge No. 131's community projects in- cluding children's cancer research and the Special Olympics Both the Knights, a men's group, and its counterpart, the Pythian Sisters, are accepting new members. The internation- al, non-sectarian fraternal order dates to 1864. For details on joining, contact Thompson (304-728-6734 or opthompson@ Iorenzetl 304-725-6263 County Commission LORENZETTI has lived and worked within Jefferson County for 30+ years. LORENZETTI advocates for input of all county citizens for decisions made concerning the future of Jefferson County. Ralph wants to hear your views and has a reputation for fairness and willingness to listen. AUTHORIZED BY LORENZETTI FOR COUNTY COMMISSON, PHILIP MCDONALD - TREASURER Mayor of RUSH 1960-1966 Jefferson County Commissioner 1966-1990 for Jefferson County COMMISSIONER Easter Bunny event coming to Middleway MIDDLEWAY - Young people can come to a special Easter event at Middleway Volunteer Fire Department next weekend. On March 31, the fire com- pany at 110 Dark Hill Road will host "Breakfast with the Easter Bunny" from 9 to 11 aan. and then an Easter egg hunt starting at 11 a.m. The cost is $5 for those 3 and older, or free for young- er kids. For details, call 304- 582-0204. There's still time to advertise in the upcoming Celebrating Jefferson County's Honor Roll Students - the beautiful keepsake special section that proud parents and grandparents looks for! An Experienced Candidate for Jefferson County Schoo/s Board of Education ArthenoRoper4JCS.tom Ads for every budget (black and white, spot color or full color) - and we can design your ad at no extra charge! Contact Mary Burns 304-725-2046, extension 223 or email F JEWELERS, INC. Downtown Charles Town DO NOT HESITATE - If you feel an emergency exists, call 911 immediately! omm jfilr.O) /Orts REMAIN CALM the most important thing you can do! r e' gefir'Y LET US HELP YOU - Listen and answer each question when you are asked. e0m.eyw 2 l KNOW YOUR meAT,0N -lhe location 0f your emergency is vital! If you find . ot,e % yourself in the middle of a field or in a barn, provide dispatcher with the closest known address. ' " BE DESCRIPTIVE, SPECIFIC AND ONLY PROVIDE PERTINENT DETAILS - i l~t ~StOr o ,puw co Describe the emergency in specifics, while avoiding unnecessary information or lang terminology. ,~ I1 -