City to consider SoCal Edison’s performance, ER backpacks for seniors

Southern California Edison utility truck
(File Photo)

Reliability of the city’s electrical grid and offering emergency packs to low-income seniors will be discussed by city council members Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Just how well is Southern California Edison working for La Cañada Flintridge customers? Reliability of the city’s electrical grid and other utility concerns will be examined by City Council members Tuesday, Jan. 21 during their 6 p.m. regular meeting.

The council commissioned Los Angeles-based engineering consultant PMCM in 2017 to analyze the infrastructure and make recommendations for local transmission and distribution systems.

That report found La Cañada Flintridge residents experienced 2,371 power outages between 2006 and 2016 — a failure rate higher than Southern California Edison’s systemwide average — and suggested numerous high-priority projects.

Officials wondered whether the city might be better served by contracting with a city like Pasadena or Glendale, which operate their own systems, or enrolling in a Community Choice Aggregation program that allows local governments to purchase and sell electricity to residents.


Edison officials, however, responded to the city’s concerns by promising a series of improvements above and beyond the “tens of millions of dollars” they’d spent on the city between 2010 and 2015.

They would replace more than 9,000 feet of underground cable and improve reliability on the city’s Ravine Circuit, which provides power to 1,337 local customers near Foothill Boulevard from Commonwealth Avenue to the 2 Freeway.

On Tuesday, the council will hear an update from PMCM and Edison on what has and hasn’t been done in the intervening years. Members of the public are encouraged to provide their input during the discussion.

Emergency backpacks for seniors

Also Tuesday, the council will consider whether to shift some $7,000 in unclaimed 2019-20 Community Development Block Grants away from a sewer assistance fund for low-income residents toward providing backpacks filled with emergency equipment to residents 55 and up.


Since 2000, the city’s CDBG program has provided assistance to low- and moderate-income households to make needed improvements on their properties and connect to a sewer system. But in recent years, fewer eligible residents have applied for connection assistance, according to staffer Lisa Brancheau.

If approved, as many as 200 rolling emergency backpacks — containing food, water, a crank-powered radio, cellphone charger and other items — would be available to residents in need, ages 55 and older.

In addition to reviewing the creation of the new program, council members will be asked to dedicate funds for La Cañada’s 2020-21 CDBG program.

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