Some Montclair residents are taking a dim view of the lack of working lights on the newly renovated South Park Street.

The communications director for Montclair, Katya Wowk, says the township sent in the forms required to have the electricity turned on a month ago. “We did what we needed to do, and now we’re trying to find out from PSE&G when the lights will be working. It was supposed to take two weeks, and it has been nearly a month,” says Wowk. “Right now we don’t have a lot of information about when the lights are going to come on from PSE&G.”

Wowk says Kim Craft, the township engineer in charge of project, is planning to talk with the contractor today to get an update. Baristanet left messages with Craft and PSE&G spokespersons, and will update the story when we have more information.

The one bright spot is the big party planned for this Saturday, Sept. 15, to celebrate the makeover is scheduled for 10am to 6pm, before sunset.

Former township councilman Cary Africk responded to the controversy today on the the Montclair Watercooler listserve:

I’ve spoken to my engineering and other contacts within PSEG and am in the process of putting together the entire story.

As one might expect, PSEG has a different perspective.

I assume people do know that originally, the town’s contractor cut through PSEG lines. We blamed PSEG for not “marking” out the service properly. PSEG disputes this, saying to me initially that our contractor didn’t even make the call.

There were many problems with the contractor according to PSEG.

I wonder where our especially hired outside engineering firm was? I think we paid them something like $30K per month. I was at South Park many times. I never saw this FULL TIME person. Workers said they saw him now and then.

Nonetheless, when pressed as to “when the darn electric will be turned on” I was asked by PSEG “Did the town fill out the application to start service,” i.e. did we even ASK them to turn on the electric?


9 replies on “Lights Out On South Park Street, Montclair”

  1. In a conversation with PSEG, I was told this afternoon that a “cut in notice” was received this past notice, indicating that approvals from the township electrical inspector had been done.

    PSEG indicated service would be “turned on” this Friday.

    As near as I can determine PSEG acted in a prompt and proper way.

    Let’s not forget that our contractor cut both PSEG’s electric and gas lines (inadvertently, of course!) necessitating extensive (and expensive to PSEG) repairs.

  2. Not directly related to this issue, but I’m curious: If someone else cuts PSE&G lines, PSE&G is responsible for paying for the repair? That seems somewhat odd.


  3. Just to correct Cary here for a moment.

    The contractor was in fact not the one who cut the line. It was however the town’s own water department who was digging that morning and who struck the line.

  4. I understand there is some discussion of who is paying for what damage. Both gas and electric lines were cut.

  5. I have a question: Weren’t they supposed to plant trees and shrubs and flowers in those empty dirt plots? Does anyone know if that’s still the plan?

  6. The project is far from finished. Trees were picked out this week, but I believe their purchase has to now be approved.

    I don’t believe benches, trash cans, etc. are yet out and installed.

    The planters have to be planted. I understand, despite there being approximately 10,123 qualified residents to do so, that the planting of the flowers will go out to bid.

    Of course that depends on whether the planters are still over PSEG’s access plates, which until recently they were.

  7. Cary, thanks so much for all of your follow up. What really stands out to me however is your comment that trees have not been purchased yet and they have to be APPROVED? Does that mean that the trees weren’t part of the original bid? Does that extend to trash cans, flowers and etc? If they are having a grand opening party this weekend I would think they would want to impress everyone with this project and not show it off, half done. Right now it looks half baked, as they say in the Midwest.

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