Residents in parts of town are hoping they soon will have less need for flashlights and candlelight.
Frequent random power outages, not related to major weather events, are a problem for a number of residents who came to the council meeting Tuesday to meet with PSE&G representatives who were on hand to address concerns from the public and the governing body.
The majority of those who came forward live on Oldfield Avenue and all claim that frequent power outages have been a problem for the past few years. They claim nothing has been done to rectify it despite reporting it to public service.
"I'd have to take my shoes off to count how many times the power has gone out in the past two years. I want some action and I want it right away," said Joe Colangelo of Oldfield Avenue whose statement was met with applause from his neighbors.
It's a serious quality of life issue for Bob McMann whose wife and brother-in-law have muscular dystrophy and rely on life sustaining equipment. His wife Anne has to be on a ventilator 20 hours a day and they must always be prepared for outages as the power can go out at any odd time, he said.
Many suggested they believe this part of Oldfield is on a different circuit likely with the commercial properties on Route 17 and perhaps connected to another town. The PSE&G representatives did not have grid information on hand but promised the borough officials and residents they will begin to look into it immediately.
David Hollenbeck of PSE&G updated the public on the large multi-million dollar investments the company is making to improve power overall and be prepared for future emergencies.
Last year's Superstorm Sandy left thousands in the dark. In Hasbrouck Heights some areas in town went 10 days without power.
Hollenbeck said PSE&G is currently upgrading area substations which were a major problem during Sandy. They are also looking to upgrade their system on the poles so they will be able to get more real time data to get people back in service faster, he said.
Currently they can tell which areas are out of power but not specific homes therefore people are still encouraged to report outages but they hope to change this with the new system, said Hollenback.
PSE&G plans to triple its power supply from 26kv to 69kv which he says "will takes us way into the future."
Hollenback also addressed an ongoing issue the borough has regarding the removal of old cobra lights along the parts of the Boulevard which recently had decorative light poles put in. Borough Engineer Ken Job said without the removal of the lights the borough is not able to finalize the work. In one case they have waited two years for the old lights to be taken away, said Job.
Hollenback claimed authorization is needed from the borough however Mike Kronyak and Mayor Rose Heck stated said authorization had long since been given in writing. Heck suggested they resubmit the paper work and copy the president of PSE&G in order to get the matter attended to.