by Jay Lawson
Whispers have been swirling around the Town of Webb about impending changes to the service provided to the area by the National Grid power company.
Specifically the talk was that National Grid would be planning to close its local substation, which serves the area from Thendara.
This would mean that local service needs would require a response crew being dispatched from the Mohawk Valley.
When the issue became a topic of discussion and concern at Wednesday’s meeting of the Central Adirondack Association (CAA), Town of Webb Supervisor Ted Riehle decided it was time for some official answers.
His regular contact person at National Grid said he was unaware of any changes that were in the works.
He checked further and contacted Riehle with information that National Grid is indeed planning changes.
The substation will not be closing, however, according to National Grid.
Rather National Grid will be downsizing its staff to two crew members.
Supervisor Riehle said he believes it’s important to stay on top of this issue to make sure that this is not the first step in a gradual phase-out.
He said he contacted the Public Service Commission preemptively to explore recourse avenues from the contractual side.
“Ours is an important line that also serves Inlet and goes through to Raquette, Blue Mountain, and Long Lake,” Riehle said.
“If we didn’t have a local crew available to respond to emergencies that happen, that would be detrimental to all these areas. And if crews must be dispatched from the Valley, that’s creating a pretty long lead time,” he said.
And that’s just on the initial evaluation end of things, before any needed equipment has been determined.
“I am certainly concerned about it,” Riehle said.