In a follow-up to an Eyewitness News I-Team investigation Wednesday about Connecticut Light & Power contractors not yet paid for their work during Tropical Storm Irene, at least one out-of-state utility company said it was hesitant to help with cleanup efforts during Winter Storm Alfred.
One of the contractors, Campbell Electric, of Michigan, spoke with the I-Team by phone on Thursday. The owner said CL&P owes more than $500,000, and if the company had paid up, more crews would have been sent to help restore our power.
Tony Capitao, of Newington, had his power restored by an out-of-state utility company on Wednesday night.
"Came on last night around 9 p.m.," he said. "A group from Oklahoma hooked us up."
Campbell Electric has six crews among the hundreds in the state who are helping CL&P restore power. But, that's far less than the 17 it sent to help after Tropical Storm Irene.
"I guess they still need more crews to get things wrapped up, but without payment, I just can't do it," said owner Carmen Campbell.
Campbell said CL&P owes him $600,000. He said he billed CL&P on Oct. 1, but still hasn't gotten paid.
Without the money, Campbell said he couldn't afford to send any more crews.
"We are unable to pay our union guys benefits and we've had employees file grievances against our company because we don't have money to pay for their insurance," he said.
While more the exception than the rule perhaps, Campbell Electric is among four companies that told the I-Team on Wednesday that CL&P still owes them for their Irene efforts, even though CL&P president and COO Jeff Butler said Wednesday the checks had been sent out.
"I've reviewed everything and all outstanding invoices I'm aware of have been paid," he said.
Thursday morning, the I-Team followed up and asked about the four contractors.
"I don't know," Butler said. "I'll have to follow up."
And it looks like he did.
CL&P told the I-Team that it reviewed Campbell's invoice again, and will send out a check on Friday.
Campbell said it usually gets paid from CL&P within 30 days, max.
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