By P/J Tracy
The Delight Town Council met before a number of concerned citizens Monday night who were present to discuss rampant electrical outages in the city.
Rhonda Abbott, wife of alderman Randy Abbott, stated her concerns over electrical issues. She mentioned that along with the simple annoyance, the town had elderly on oxygen and unable to tolerate the extreme heat during outages.
She said those with generators were fine, but not every resident was able to afford one.
She said she came before the council to seek approval about a letter being written to the state Public Service Commission, believing that would have more weight than submitted as individuals.
“What can we do as a community to address the issue?” she asked.
Mayor Paul Lane stated that he had recently been contacted by representatives of both Entergy and South Central Rural Electric after a flurry of social media posts evidently caught the eye of the companies.
He said that while neither wanted a public meeting, Entergy did update Lane that the clearing of the electrical lines right of way was being cleared, new line was being installed and that infrared surveys were being conducted to find a fix hot spots in the lines.
It was also mentioned that there could be talk of Entergy partnering with South Central to provide power during outages in a rerouted format, but no specifics or timeline on implementation of such a plan were given.
Alderman Tom Wilson was doubtful of the situation being greatly remedied, stating simply, “I doubt if anything happens. I’ve spend more on gas in the last month to run my generator than I have on my electrical bill.”
It was joked that the clearing of the lines might have helped as it has been about a week since the town had lost power.
Lane said Entergy was “fully aware of the town’s dissatisfaction” and the company was “doing all they could to resolve the issues. Believe me, they are tying to resolve the issues.”
He said much of the problems stem from the lines in the Little Missouri River bottoms between Gurdon and Okalona.
It was mentioned that it just seemed unfair because other communities just didn’t seem to have the number of outages as Delight.
“Stating that he understood outages during sever weather, alderman Keith Woods said “the sun can shine for three or four days and the electricity will be off for 36 hours … that’s just not responsible. It’s been out at least ten times in the last 30 days. It’s not like there is another choice, regardless of the level of dissatisfaction.”
Local resident Pat Davis said he had called the Department of Electricity in Little Rock and was contacted by an Entergy official.
According to Davis, the official stated that “if anyone has the right to complain about their service, it is the the residents of Delight.”
Lane suggested the letter would best come from the city, and as such it will be drafted by town secretary/treasurer Brent Alexander.
“I believe they will get it worked out,” said Lane.
Alderman Ronnie Cox said he “hoped Entergy was trying to improve things, but only time would tell.