Written by Karen Talley Friday, 05 September 2014 00:00
It’s “full speed ahead” for Dave Daly as the PSEG LI president works to make the utility “world class.”
Several initiatives that PSEG LI has undertaken since taking over from LIPA on Jan. 1, are ahead of schedule and Daly, who became president in November, is confident many more can come in ahead of plan. The 22 measures he describes include enhancing the utility’s financial position, its customer service and, perhaps most of all, the reliability of its service.
Daly laid out his plans in a nearly two hour discussion with editors at Anton Community Newspapers’ headquarters in Mineola.
The man who was lambasted—but kept his composure—back in February during a hearing on 85-foot poles was just as at ease as he offered a bigger picture of what PSEG LI is all about.
PSEG LI is a unit of PSEG, which has a utility in New Jersey and also operates nuclear power plants. Two years ago, PSEG was the winning bidder to take-over an expiring contract that National Grid had with LIPA. Under the arrangement, LIPA owns all the assets, like substations, while PSEG provides services.
PSEG LI is big on automation, as opposed to LIPA, “where a lot of work was getting done with a clipboard and a pencil,” Daly said. That’s why PSEG LI has embarked on a major information technology project, with the ultimate goal of becoming more efficient, which could bring down costs to ratepayers.
The IT program is just one example of seismic shifts occurring, Daly said. “There is a tremendous amount of change going on in virtually every area of the company.”
Daly also is not afraid to take unpopular stances.
For instance, the aggressive approach to tree trimming that PSEG has taken is rankling a number of residents. Daly says the work is necessary because very limited trimming went on in the past and keeping trees cut to certain levels is “one of the most important [efforts] in hardening the system against storms.”
He also was at the center of a firestorm of criticism this year over the installation of 210 unsightly 80- and 85-foot poles in North Hempstead, from Port Washington to Great Neck.
Daly said the project actually predates PSEG LI’s presence by two years and that LIPA and National Grid “presented their plans to the town” and got proper permits for them.
If PSEG LI had been around at the time, there might not have been such controversy because the utility has a community outreach program and would have considered residents’ feedback, Daly said. “We have a process that says for every capital project we have...is there anything that could create opposition.”
He also said the new, towering, poles “are not pretty.”
The pole project is now “done,” he said, at least the electric part, with power lines having been transferred to the new poles.
There is still some clean-up going on, Daly said, and PSEG LI is working with Cablevision and Verizon to get their lines on the new poles.
Daly said the old poles will be removed by the end of the year.
This sets up a dynamic with the town, which on Sept. 9 is expected to adopt legislation that can fine utilities for not removing old poles when they put new ones in. The way the proposed law stood as of press time, the penalty for not removing poles was $500 for a first offence and $1,000 for a subsequent offence. Civil penalties are $500 for each violation. The ordinance “doesn’t concern me,” Daly said.
An amendment requiring PSEG LI to place a warning sign on any newly installed pole that has been treated with Pentachlorophenol (Penta), a chemical treatment for wood, was slated to be considered as a separate resolution. The town calls Penta “a known carcinogenic.” Daly said utilities all over the country use Penta as a wood preservative and, “We don’t put signs up on poles.”
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00
Local school districts are reaffirming student hygiene standards in the wake of the non-polio enterovirus (EV-D68) that’s been found in the United States. A strain of the enterovirus was found in Southampton’s middle and high schools, but officials say it was not the virus that has caused the national EV-D68 outbreak.
The enterovirus disproportionately affects infants, children and adolescents who lack immunity, according to the Center for Disease Control. School districts have been notified to follow New York State Health Department guidelines to combat possible infections.
Saturday, 11 October 2014 00:00
Audition Hosts: Eleanor Rigby’s Restauant, Mineola Village Hall, Piccola Bussola and Plum Tomatoes
Audition Team: Master Performance Artist Ed Dennehy of Huntington/ formerly of Mineola
Robert Busch, Little Neck and Melville Fire Department, Adrian Gaeckler: Oyster Bay/ Nassau Coliseum Staff, Nigel Gretton: Hempstead/ St John’s University Performing Arts Chair Lady Laura, Hempstead/ Global Performing Artist, Ralph DeSalvo: Williston Park, Musician/ Band Leader.
Al Trompeter, Entertainment Promoter
Special Touches: Bagelman of Mineola ( Entertainment Committee Host)
Creations de Belle of Mineola (Street Decorations/ Balloons)
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs ended last year’s playoff run in a 34-6 drubbing from the West Hempstead Rams. Mineola was poised for another post season push in 2014 and it showed last week, with a 15-14 victory over the Rams in homecoming weekend.
With a slow start in the first half, Mineola (4-1) put their first points on the board in the second quarter with a field goal by senior Robert Lang. After a touchdown by the Rams (2-3), they headed into halftime 7-3.
Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00
Despite two goals from Liam Going, the BU11 Mineola FC squad fell to a relentless and talented Hota Panthers team at Soccer Park in Plainview on Sept. 6. Hota jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Going connected on his first tally, launching a 30-yard free kick that dropped over the Hota keeper. The Mineola striker’s second goal brought his team to within two goals of their opponent, but Hota scored several more goals in the second half in a strong performance. Mineola’s Nicholas Buffolino and Luke Sommese gave solid efforts for Mineola in the season-opener for both teams.