By Brandon HENSLEY
Members of the Southern California Gas Company came to the Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting Nov. 15 to inform residents of its Advanced Meter Project, which is currently underway and will finish in 2017.
“What is the advanced meter project?” said Public Affairs Manager Tony Tartaglia. “What’s the difference between the smart meters you’ve been hearing about? Ours is basically the next iteration of meter reading.”
The upgrade, which will be implemented into six million meters around Southern California, said Tartaglia, includes a module that is battery powered that will transmit information electronically to a Data Collector Unit (DCU). The units will be poles, around 35 feet high, installed in five areas around La Crescenta. In the packet handed out at the meeting, those areas are specified as the southeast corner of 5800 Canyonside Road, 6065 Canyonside Road, across from 4706 Ramsdell Ave., across from 4000 Vista Court and across from 5404 La Crescenta Ave.
Tartaglia said a benefit of the project includes getting a meter reading, which can be relayed back to an online account or smartphone, the next day.
“What it means is if you have a small business, you’ll be able to utilize your gas in a more efficient manner and save money.” He also said the project will take 1,000 trucks off the road, thus helping the environment.
Resistance with the project is due to aesthetics. Residents had concerns with the solar panels Glendale Unified School District installed this year, saying it ruined their view from their yards. Some in the audience at the council meeting raised the same concerns about the DCUs.
Project Site Manager Boudewijn Hanrath said the company carefully inspected the areas in which to put the units, and tried to make them not too obtrusive.
“We look at the streets. We look at how it minimizes visible impact,” said Hanrath. “Streets, sidewalks, where they might be already mitigated by existing trees.
We go site by site, we look at the neighborhood, we look at this overall area … and come up with a location,” he said. “We take it back with certain amounts of information, how may feet from the curb, how many feet from the intersection, so that out radio engineers can … take a look, run it through the computer system and see if it satisfies the coverage that we need to get.”
Mass installation will begin next year. Community leaders will be notified 90 to 60 days prior, and customers will receive notice 30 days prior. For information, go to socalgas.com/advanced, or email Tartaglia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before the advanced meter presentation, 15-year old Nico Pappas presented an outline of his Eagle Scout project, which will be beautifying the area near Encinal and Pennsylvania avenues near the “Welcome to La Crescenta” sign located on CVWD property.
Pappas wants to fill the area with plants and an irrigation system, but he needs funding before he can start in January. He said his budget is $1,640, including $500 for the irrigation system.
The next CVTC meeting is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta.