by Richard Becker
As a resident of the Town of Cortlandt — who also happens to be its Deputy Supervisor – I believe that I am far from alone in my frustration with Con Ed.
Over the last several months, ConEd has torn up several major streets in Cortlandt, including a long stretch of Watch Hill Road, Croton Avenue from 202 to Furnace Dock Road, and also on the north and south sections of Locust Avenue. These were undoubtedly necessary repairs, and I suspect that citizens are willing to put up with this prolonged process to ensure both safety as well as reliable utility service.
However, ConEd is responsible for restoring the roads to “as found” condition. These roads are owned by the Town, and we allow ConEd to perform their repairs with the understanding they will meet their responsibilities.
Normally, ConEd repairs only one side of a two-lane road, repaving only that side that was disturbed. This is unsatisfactory, as it leaves an unbalanced surface, and necessitates that the Town repave the other side, at our expense, to correct for this. We have formally proposed, both in meetings and by letter, that the Town of Cortlandt repave the whole section of disturbed roadway, and that ConEd would then reimburse us for one-half (50%) of the total cost. So far, Con Ed has not agreed to partner with us, nor have they even repaved the sections that they have recently destroyed. In other words, Con Ed has failed to meet its obligation to our community.
Why is ConEd ignoring us? Easy answer: “They don’t care and it shows”. In addition to the problems described above, they have failed to bury their cables and left those roads with broken and dangerously leaning utility poles. And when storms disrupt service, their response is unacceptably poor. Supervisor Puglisi, in her September 2020 letter to the community, confirmed that one third of Cortlandt was without power for up to 8 long days during a recent storm. Finally, we know that last year, the State held hearings regarding ConEd’s failure to respond appropriately to outages. But it appears that consequences were sorely lacking.
At our upcoming July 20 voting meeting, if ConEd has not yet paved our roads or fails to meet our need for them to pay ½ of the cost of repaving, I am going to ask that the Town Board move ahead with the job. We will then pursue all legal remedies against ConEd to insure that they meet their obligations to the residents who rely upon them.
Richard Becker is Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Cortlandt