Manager’s Message — January 2021
Happy New Year! 2020 was a trying year for everyone, and we are pleased to begin 2021 with some good news. Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST) was awarded a California Advanced Services Fund grant for more than $3.7 million to continue expanding broadband services to some of the hardest-to-reach areas of our region. This grant will help PST cover parts of the Scott Road area and the Sierra County portion of Long Valley. We will begin permitting the projects during the first quarter of 2021. Actual construction will probably be in late 2021 or in 2022.
Construction of projects funded by grants awarded in 2019 is going well. We did experience delays due to COVID-19, wildfires, inclement weather, and equipment delivery delays. These projects will provide broadband service to areas of C Road, Mohawk Vista, Johnsville, Keddie, Lake Davis, Elysian Valley, and Johnsville. If you have not yet contacted us to get on our interest list for service, please call us at (530) 832-4261 or visit our website.
Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC) continued its increased vegetation management and removal of hazard trees on the system to improve reliability and fire safety. We appreciate the increased cooperation from our members on this key reliability and safety issue. PSREC also continued to improve system reliability and response times through our supervisory control and data acquisition system.
Be Prepared for Outages
Even though your cooperative has invested in system improvements, removed hazard trees, and kept up its ongoing maintenance, outages can and will happen. Being prepared can help make the best of a bad situation. Please visit our website for information on outage preparedness and electrical safety. Pacific Gas and Electric has been repairing its system and requiring us to switch our system, leading to a number of short outages as we move to our backup transmission feed.
We have been working on PG&E to minimize the impact on us, but we are not always successful. We also would like to encourage everyone to put high-quality surge protection on your home electronics. Manufacturers are supposed to build modern electronics to code, which means they can withstand a surge, but this doesn’t always happen. Between risks posed by lightning, trees, and power surges from the grid, investing in high-quality surge protection will pay for itself over time.
PSREC has changed its outage notification system to provide more localized outage information to members. To view the most up-to-date outage information, or to report an outage, please log into the PSREC SmartHub app on your Apple or Android device, or log in at our website. Please report all outages to us, day or night, at (530) 832-4261 or through the app.
PSREC and PST are again offering scholarships to students who receive either electric or internet services from PSREC or PST at their primary residence in Plumas, Sierra, Lassen, and Washoe counties. There is an application on our Plumas-Sierra Offers Scholarships to Local Students article. The deadline is April 26. For more information, go to our website.
During these difficult times, we know many of you are struggling financially. We would like to stress the importance of staying in touch with us about your bills and trying to keep your account balance from growing too much for both electric and telecommunications services.
All of our local restaurants and small businesses are having a difficult time surviving during partial and full shutdowns of indoor dining and stay-at-home orders. If you want your favorite businesses and restaurants to be here when the pandemic is over, please patronize them and order takeout. Tip at least as much as you would if you were dining in.