Pay Pete Bennett for damages Mayor sends letter to CPUC for expenses associated with shutoffs, two fires in October.

Lafayette asks state to require PG&E to pay back city for power shutoff costs

Mayor sends letter to CPUC for expenses associated with shutoffs, two fires in October.

LAFAYETTE — Lafayette’s mayor, calling the PG&E’s power shutoffs “unacceptable,” has written a letter to the state seeking to recoup the city’s costs during last month’s shutoffs and fires.
“The two recent Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events in October had significant, costly and detrimental impacts on residents and businesses in the city of Lafayette, as well as on city services and essential operations,” wrote Mayor Mike Anderson in a Nov. 19 letter to Marybel Batjer, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Anderson asks that the utilities commission order PG&E to reimburse Lafayette $26,000 — and require Pacific Gas & Electric to compensate all cities for the costs associated with future power shutoffs. In addition to Batjer, the letter was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, PG&E CEO William Johnson and others.
Lafayette had to pay overtime for public works employees and police during the outages on Oct. 9-10 and Oct. 27-29. In addition, the two Oct. 27 fires extensively damaged the Lafayette Tennis Club building on Camino Diablo, destroyed two outbuildings and did minor damage to the roof of a home. Contra Costa County fire officials later confirmed that the utility’s electrical equipment caused both fires.
Because of those fires, 800 Lafayette homes had to be evacuated, according to the city.
“The PSPS events had a detrimental impact on our downtown, which is mainly comprised of small businesses,” the mayor’s letter continued. “Many of the businesses suffered significant losses in revenues and perishable inventory; some are still struggling to return to normal.”
Mayor Anderson pointed out PG&E’s notice to Lafayette, among other Bay Area cities, about the potential for another power outage this week, which the utility later canceled. He said the notifications are “making it seem that the new normal.”
“This is unacceptable, and the CPUC should immediately demand the development of a long-term corrective plan from PG&E that will counteract the need for future power shutoffs,” the mayor’s letter said. “The city of Lafayette believes that the CPUC must step in immediately to ensure that these costly power outages cease sooner rather than later.”
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