POSTED: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 4:22pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 10:46pm
LAS CRUCES- El Paso Electric has faced lots of questions lately, both from angry customers and the media, about why so many were without power for so long. Today, the Las Cruces City Council had some questions of its own for the power company.
Despite an issue that has left many upset, proceedings remained calm and cordial at today's Las Cruces City Council meeting.
El Paso Electric CEO David Stevens answered dozens of questions, including some from the audience, about what went wrong last week.
A fairly crowded city council meeting saw council members ask tough questions about El Paso Electric's failure to deal with last week's cold temperatures.
Two main concerns dominated, with the first being brought up by city representative Dolores Connor.
She wondered if customers were going to see an increase in their bills, after El Paso Electric had to buy so much power from other places.
CEO David Stevens said he didn't anticipate a jump in price, but wouldn't know officially for some time. Next up was a 'what if'.
Winter won't be over for a while, and Stevens admitted that if temperatures plummeted again next week, El Paso would face the same problems.
For now, he said they're trying to figure out a solution so it won't happen again.
"Right now our goal for the last week has been get everything up and running, find out what's damaged, repair those things that are damaged and then start studying what do we do for short term and long term to try and remediate the problem," Stevens said.
Several people stood up to voice concerns, with several offering their services to help E.P. Electric design future solutions.
El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson has said El Paso Electric's power outages last week will be investigated by both the city and the state. No such actions are planned in New Mexico.