SWEPCO, City Agree to Outage Service Contract

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and City of Minden have reached a new agreement, this time to ensure when there’s a big outage, help will be forthcoming quickly.

Members of the City Council voted unanimously at Monday’s meeting to sign the agreement that promises a crew will be on standby if Minden experiences an outage that city crews cannot handle alone.

“This has nothing to do with our power agreement with SWEPCO,” Minden Mayor Terry Gardner told meeting attendees. “This is a contract that should we go through another tornado like we did last weekend, we are first on their list to release trucks to our area to help restore our power.”

According to the written contract, SWEPCO “agrees to furnish upon request by the (city) and acceptance by SWECO, the labor, equipment and specified materials necessary to provide preventative maintenance, emergency service restoration and work on agreed to high voltage facilities in the City of Minden.”

In referring to the City’s cost, the contract reads that actual labor charges will be billed based on “straight time rates,” depending on the classification of the worker and figuring double time for overtime rates.

Other aspects include the following:

  • Materials will be billed at actual costs plus 20 percent.
  • Work performed on holidays will be billed at triple time rates.
  • New non-PCB insulating oil will be billed at SWEPCO’s cost per gallon for the most recent shipment plus $0.57 per gallon for handling, testing, processing and other expenses.
  • Power factor testing equipment will be billed at $60 per hour.
  • Equipment and vehicle transportation expenses will be billed based upon the current hourly rate for the applicable vehicle plus 20 percent.
  • All other expenses (meals, hotels, etc.) will be billed at cost plus 20 percent.
  • Contractor expenses will be billed at cost plus 20 percent.
  • Infrared testing will be available at a cost of $1,500 per day; $925 per half-day (one man and equipment).
  • Outdoor lighting repairs for fixtures under 40 feet will be performed by one servicer and truck at a rate of $150 per hour. Lights 40 feet and higher will require two linemen and an aerial truck at a rate of $250 per hour.
  • A minimum of two (2) hours per person will be billed for each emergency callout.

According to the contract, there is no charge if the city does not use SWEPCO’s crews. It is valid for one year, either from date of signing or the fiscal year.


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