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POWER FAILURES ANGER SEVERAL S. UTAH FIRMS

Several southwestern Utah companies are upset over a recent string of power failures in the city-run electrical system they say cost them time and money.

"It cost us several thousand dollars in lost production," said Everex manager John Busby. "Our customers aren't going to pay for it and we have to make up for it."Busby said there have been continued brownouts or power spikes that have adversely affected the computer components manufacturer. He said it was the unpredictability of the mid-August power failures that hurt the company.

City Water and Power Director Wayne McArthur said the power failures were caused by a power line that sagged because of high temperatures and heavy peak loading conditions. He said neither St. George City nor Utah Power was negligent.

"Those are all good excuses (from McArthur)," said Harold Hess, manager of American Recreation Products Inc., "but my customers . . . expect a finished product to their door based on the quality standards that we agreed on, in a timely manner."

Hess said his company has been working for the past 15 years with the city on electrical power stability and has installed capacitors recommended by the city.

But mid-August power failure had a "devastating effect" on American Recreation Products, Hess said.

ARP systems engineer Bill Cassidy estimated the company sustained $10,000 to $15,000 in equipment damage and another $5,000 in lost production.

Hess said he planned to present a list of the damages to city officials.

"It hurt us badly," said RAM president Ray Ganowski. "Not so much from a machinery standpoint, but from a computer standpoint. We had surge protectors on everything. But when our main frame system goes down, we lose all the previous time and it kicks out the programs."

Daily Spectrum Publisher Don Hogun said the newspaper has spent about $3,200 on repairs to computer equipment he feels resulted from electrical power surges.

Hogun said the newspaper is installing a more sophisticated computer system, including battery backup, that will be more sensitive to power surges and brownouts.

However, he said the newspaper over the past two years sustained between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of damages in equipment losses and computer downtime.

McArthur encouraged customers to send in claims so the city can investigate to determine if it was negligent.

"I don't think you can find a better-built, better-maintained system than St. George City," said McArthur. "We are doing more maintenance and have a dedicated crew that does nothing but maintenance."