08/09/07 — Electrical system to get upgrade

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Electrical system to get upgrade

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on August 9, 2007 1:45 PM

A nasty storm in Pikeville could leave electrical engineers scrambling for rare parts if the town's current electrical system were damaged, the town's mayor says.

So the town will embark on a $750,000 electrical upgrade in the next two months, Mayor Herbert Sieger said.

The upgrade will replace all existing lines and other electrical equipment in Pikeville. Estimated completion time is about six months after the start date, Sieger said.

"The equipment that we now are using is considered obsolete," he said. "It's very hard to find parts for it."

If parts of the system were damaged for any reason, Pikeville could "be down for quite some time" while utility workers tried to track down replacements, the mayor said.

Such an outage could pose major inconveniences or even danger for some town residents, he said.

The contract, guided by Raleigh-based Booth and Associates, was awarded to Lee Electrical Co. of Aberdeen, N.C., Town Clerk Kathie Fields said.

The benefit of upgrading the town's entire electrical system from four kilovolts to a 12-kilovolt system is twofold, Sieger said. A kilovolt is the equivalent of 1,000 volts.

The new system will enable "future expansion and give better service" to residents, the mayor said. Upgrades will also help the efficiency of the system, he said.