HALLOWELL — A schedule for the Public Utilities Commission’s investigation into Central Maine Power Co.’s service to Jackman, Caratunk and Dover-Foxcroft has been set.

Anyone wishing to request data from or ask questions of the utility in connection with the case must do so by April 4.

At an initial case conference on Thursday morning, Public Utilities Commission Hearing Examiner Katie Gray announced a schedule of deadlines for the proceedings that extends through August. At that meeting, a petition from the Office of the Public Advocate requesting to intervene in the proceeding was also approved.

Commissioners voted to formally investigate CMP on Feb. 26 after residents of Jackman, Caratunk and Dover-Foxcroft filed complaints that they had experienced an increase in outages and in the duration of those outages over the last five years. The residents of these rural towns in Somerset and Piscataquis counties also complained about insufficient staffing levels, equipment and service.

The commissioners decided to combine the three 10-person complaints into one docket, as they raised similar concerns over a similar time frame and were each filed between November and December 2018.

Any requests for information that were made when the 10-person complaints were separate must be re-filed in the new combined docket on the PUC website, said Gray.

Deke Sawyer, a local reverend who filed the Jackman complaint against CMP, said, “The trend is not good. We’re trying to get out ahead of this before someone is hurt.” Ratepayers in Jackman, Caratunk and Dover-Foxcroft filed similar complaints against CMP with the PUC from November to December 2018, citing increasingly longer and more frequent power outages in their communities as well as a host of other service deficiencies. Contributed photo

“(They need to be filed) in the data requests section so notice is given in the appropriate form,” she said.

Deke Sawyer, who initially filed the Jackman complaint, had already requested several pieces of data from CMP, but they had been submitted under “Filings.”

Eric Bryant, senior counsel for the Maine Office of the Public Advocate, requested a public witness hearing as part of the proceedings.

“We would hope that the commission takes the time to conduct a public witness hearing in a location central to the three towns at some point in the case,” he said.

“OK, we’ll discuss that,” Gray responded.

The upcoming deadlines are as follows:

April 4: Data requests for CMP due.

April 25: CMP’s responses to data requests due.

May 16: Testimony from lead complainants or witnesses and the Office of the Public Advocate due.

May 30: Data requests relating to the May 16 testimonies due.

June 17: Complainants’ responses to the data requests due.

July 9: Testimony from CMP due.

July 23: Data requests relating to the CMP testimony due.

August 6: CMP’s responses to the data requests due.

August 21: Technical conference on CMP’s testimony, followed by a case conference to discuss next steps.

 

Meg Robbins — 861-9239
[email protected]
Twitter: @megrobbins


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