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Council hears from LCEC on emergency restoration

September 18, 2019
By MELISSA BILL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Community Council got an update from the Lee County Electric Cooperative during its monthly meeting last Monday.

LCEC's Project Manager Dennis Davidson explained the role that the electric distributer plays within the community and also provided a little history.

"LCEC started out as a way to get electric out to the cattle ranchers. It then continued to grow and is now the largest not-for-profit coop in the United States, with 218,000 customers," Davidson said. "We are a distributer of electricity, but do not generate it."

Article Photos

LCEC’s Project Manager Dennis Davidson explaines the role that the electric distributer plays within the community.

PHOTO PROVIDED

LCEC's main headquarters are in North Fort Myers, but it has substations spread out throughout county, many situated in Cape Coral. Each substation is able to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. The coop purchases its electric from Florida Power & Light, which it then distributes.

According to Davidson, currently LCEC is putting $1 million a year into storm hardening work.

"The transmission structures at many of the stations were formerly wood. We are now working to replace those structures with concrete. Wood poles tend to suffer from things such as wood rot, which can cause failure, something we don't want," Davidson said.

Other emergency restoration efforts include: proactively inspecting, identifying potential problem areas and aging infrastructure, repairing or replacing equipment before storms, and routine vegetation management.

"At LCEC safety is very important to us. It's critical to keep our customers and employees safe. We spend a lot of effort throughout the year to keep our lines clear of trees and brush that could cause power outages. We also replace about 2,000 distribution poles per year. Each pole is maintained by treating and wrapping the pole to extend its life and we routinely preform thermographic inspections to look for hot spots," Davidson said.

Members of the public commented on the quick efforts by LCEC workers and linemen following Hurricane Irma.

According to Davidson, LCEC still continues to wrestle with FEMA to get the majority of its money back post Irma.

Council members also gave updates on various agenda items including a recent incorporation meeting.

"Our attendance is continuing to grow. About 25 people attended our last meeting, which we held inside the East Lee County Library," Vice President Tyler Woodby said.

Woodby also announced that the council's next litter clean up would be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 8 a.m. Members of the community who would like to join can sign up on the council's Facebook page and meet at the corner of Sunshine Blvd. and 1st Street.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council's meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the meeting room at the LCSO East District substation, at 1301 Homestead Road N.

The next meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 7. Those who would like more information on council meetings or the next clean up event can visit www.facebook.com/LehighAcresCommunityCouncil/

 
 

 

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