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Power outages affecting small businesses

St. Martinville outages
St. Martinville outage complaints
Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 20:29:28-04

ST. MARTINVILLE, L.a. — Those living in St. Martinville are frustrated with power outages they feel are happening too frequently.

KATC spoke with local businesses along Main Street and they said these outages negatively affect their day-to-day operations.

Dale Mouton is the owner of the special event venue Maison de Tours. She told KATC these outages have been an issue all 15 years she's been in business, but she's noticing they are now happening multiple times a month — sometimes in the same week.

"We've had to be pretty creative and inventive but it is stressful and it could really hurt a business," Mouton said. "You can't hide it from your guests, but we light thousands of candles inside and they think it's romantic, but it is stressful, it's hard on the staff."

KATC was able to speak with one of the city's linemen, Gereon McGilvery — he said the problem here is pretty simple.

"With a lot of wind and trees, they tend to get in the power lines causing a few outages and unfortunately, a lot of the houses and residents affected by the outages, they're all connected and tied to the same switch," McGilvery said. "So whenever you have a limb, something like a squirrel, heavy rain, something along those lines, you tend to have a lot of outages."

McGilvery noted that a lot of this has to do with the outdated city infrastructure, so KATC brought up these points in a conversation with St. Martinville's mayor Melinda Mitchell.

She said that a resolution to improve the city's infrastructure was approved by the city council about a month ago, but they are now waiting on the state to approve the city for funding. This funding would be to the tune of $840,000 — $630,000 coming from the state, $210,000 matched by the city.

"We're working on it, we're continuing to ask everybody to be patient as they have been and we're thankful that they have been," Mitchell said. "But there's some things that's coming down the pipeline and hopefully they happen sooner than later."

The mayor said she and her staff are also going to look into getting help at the federal level.

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