Council endorses chamber call to address frequent power outages in Harriston

MINTO – Town council has endorsed a call from the Minto Chamber of Commerce for Westario Power Inc. to address concerns about frequent power outages in the western portion of Harriston.

On Sept. 19, council passed a motion of support for a letter from the chamber to Westario expressing concern about “persistent power outages in our community.”

The chamber states outages “have been adversely affecting the businesses in the western portion of Harriston.”

The letter says outages “have caused significant disruptions and financial losses to these local businesses,” and requests “immediate attention and action to address this issue.”

“As you are undoubtedly aware, a reliable and uninterrupted power supply is essential for the smooth operation of businesses in our region. Unfortunately, we have been experiencing recurrent power outages that have had a detrimental impact on our local economy,” the letter states.

“These outages have left businesses without electricity for extended periods, leading to significant financial losses due to interrupted operations, spoilage of goods, and the inconvenience caused to both business owners and their customers.”

The chamber is asking Westario to conduct a thorough investigation into the root causes of the recurrent power outages and implement immediate measures to mitigate the impact of future outages on local businesses.

“This could include backup power solutions, improved communication during outages, and a clear plan for addressing issues promptly as well as animal protection for wires and bushings, increased wire separation and over-insulation where necessary,” chamber officials state.

The chamber is also requesting Westario “promptly address any power outages as they occur, with a clear communication plan in place to inform affected businesses of the estimated duration and reason for the outage.”

Councillor Geoff Gunson suggested council endorse and support the chamber’s position.

“I think as recently as a couple of weeks ago, the power was out again … all morning,” Gunson stated.

“So it really affects your businesses and I think we need to show them our support.”

Mayor Dave Turton said he has discussed the issue with former Minto mayor George Bridge, who continues to represent the municipality on the Westario board of directors.

“He knows about the outages. He has brought it to the attention of the board and they are working towards a solution,” said Turton.

“They’re possibly thinking it’s animals, possibly loose wires, or bare wires, trees, things like that. So this letter will certainly let them know that it is important to us and our chamber.”

Westario Power supplies electricity to the communities of Clifford, Elmwood, Hanover, Harriston, Kincardine, Lucknow, Mildmay, Neustadt, Palmerston, Port Elgin, Ripley, Southampton, Teeswater, Walkerton, and Wingham.

Surrounding rural areas receive power from Hydro One.