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Council to Send Letter to Washington Gas to Improve Service in College Park

At last week’s Council worksession, the City Council discussed with the Washington Gas service representatives about a few operations in College Park. Based on the feedback, the council will send a letter to Washington Gas at tonight’s meeting.

The letter asks that Washington Gas adopt the following steps:

l. When residents have concerns about Washington Gas operations in the City, such as when a gas leak persists for multiple days, the City would appreciate access to a contact number which our staff can reliably use to contact Washington Gas to receive the latest status about the incident. The City will not share this phone number with our residents. The City has a similar line of communication with Comcast and Verizon.

2. When a resident calls to report an incident, we suggest that Washington Gas update both the resident and the City about the status of the service once Washington Gas begins the repair work and once it is completed. The City contact is Mr. Steve Halpern, City Engineer (cell: 240-508-7958, or shalpem@collegeparkmd.gov).

3. In a case when a problem continues even after a crew has attempted to fix a leak and residents continue to report the issue to Washington Gas, there should be sufficient information available to the dispatchers that the residents reporting the issue do not have to recount the entire history of the problem. In several cases in the past few months, when Councilmembers and other residents reported ongoing issues to Washington Gas, the dispatchers seemed completely unaware of the history of the issue or past attempts to address it.

The letter also asks Washington Gas to report back on the following issues:

1. Regarding the leaks on Lackawanna Street, why did the incident take many days to locate and adequately repair? Several residents and the two Councilmembers representing this area called numerous times to try to address this issue, and repair crews came out many times to attempt to fix it, but it still took nearly a week, and several calls, to repair it.

2. Regarding the issue on 52nd Place and Kenesaw Street, Washington Gas crews were present for numerous hours, but did not begin work on the leak until well into the evening and late into the night. Why did the crews not begin the project earlier, and instead perform the repair late at night, creating noise that made it difficult for residents to sleep?

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