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Danville council to hear PG&E presentation on power shutdowns

Also: County sales tax measure, town's new 'Government 101 Academy'

The Danville Town Council is set to meet for a study session on Tuesday morning to discuss a PG&E presentation on public safety power shutdowns.

PG&E is working to expand its community wildfire safety program in the wake of deadly wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018, and its presentation will cover new safety measures it plans to put into place in Danville.

PG&E’s proposed real-time monitoring developments include installing new high-definition cameras in high fire-risk zones, expanding the network of weather stations and monitoring wildfire risks in real time from its Wildfire Safety Operations Center.

New safety measures that PG&E plans to put in place are carrying out accelerated safety inspections of electric infrastructure, managing vegetation, disabling automatic reclosing of circuit breakers and implementing public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) in areas throughout California with a high wildfire threat.

PG&E also has solutions for system hardening: the installation of more resilient poles, covered power lines and targeted undergrounding; upgrading electric equipment; and developing new resilience zones to provide electricity during a PSPS.

The main focus of the presentation is the possibility of PG&E implementing its PSPS safety measure. The company claims that this will reduce the risk of wildfires by giving the company the power to turn off power at its discretion, given extreme weather and fire danger conditions.

Before shutting down power, which could potentially affect any of PG&E’s more than 5 million electric customers, the utility company would take into account factors such as red flag warnings, low humidity levels, the speed of sustained winds and wind gusts, the condition of dry fuel and real-time observations on the ground.

PG&E would notify customers in the event of a PSPS through multiple channels of communication before, during and after public safety outages, if possible.

Before the restoration of power, PG&E would carry out intensive inspections to ensure that the weather threat has subsided sufficiently, and also to repair any damage that may have been incurred during the outage.

Council members will consider PG&E’s community wildfire safety program at the study session -- open to the public.

The study session will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday (July 9) at the Danville Town Offices, 510 La Gonda Way. Citizens may participate in the meeting, but comments may not exceed three minutes.

In other business

* Council members will present an update on the development of a countywide half-cent transportation sales tax measure.

* The council will review the town’s community outreach measures.

* They will also propose a new “Government 101 Academy,” to be offered annually starting this fall.

The purpose of the program would be to educate Danville residents on the functions and decision-making process of the local government and encourage community engagement and participation in future committees and commissions.

* Council members will then discuss the recruitment process for the Arts Commission.

* The council is also set to meet for a closed session at 8:30 a.m. to discuss negotiations for the sale of real property at 115-125 Hartz Ave. in Danville.

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