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BGE Reliability 'We Thought it was Just Us'

Howard County residents testified Tuesday night about their experiences with power outages.

While many of the people testifying about BGE’s reliability in Howard County were familiar faces at Tuesday’s public hearing, some new perspectives came to the forefront, too; particularly the business perspective.

“Our business is to help small businesses solve technical problems,” Kristy Mumma said of the Columbia-based company Stewart Technologies, Inc. “But we’re having technical problems of our own due to frequent, unexplained outages.”

About 20 people signed up to testify – all in favor of CR134, which would create a resolution on behalf of the County Council, asking the Public Service Commission to initiate a second investigation into BGE’s reliability in Howard County in neighborhoods not mentioned in the investigation currently being carried out into reliability in Ellicott City.

Angela Tersiguel, co-owner of Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant, said that she experienced more than 20 outages in less than 10 months at her home in addition to the outage she faced at her business during the June derecho. “It’s frustrating to pay your staff when you know we’re not going to work,” she testified. 

Residents from around the county asked that their neighborhoods be added to the resolution, which initially listed the neighborhoods of Braeburn, Burleigh Manor, Columbia, Columbia Hills, Dunloggin, Hammond Village, Historic Ellicott City, Hollifield, Laurel, Pleasant Chase, Ridgeley’s Run, The Oaks, Turf Valley Legends, Turf Valley Vistas and Worthington.

Council person Courtney Watson, who sponsored the resolution, said that when she initially filed it, there were 45 or 50 individual streets that had been identified as having reliability problems.

“Since the bill was introduced, we’ve had about another 45  …  included in the bill.” She said the meeting was an attempt to ensure all residents knew about the resolution.

Apparently, not everyone had heard of the current investigation into BGE's reliability in Howard County.

“We need your help,” Elizabeth Wilkinson testified, “We’re not on your list. Would you please put us on it? We thought it was just us.”

Read more about the hearing, including testimony about potential meter-rate changes in the Historic District, Wednesday on Ellicott City Patch.

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