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Don’t fence us out

0610
 2014


Bluebonnet crews occasionally need to enter private property to reach trouble spots along power lines in their easements. The co-op provides property owners with a lock that allows crews to get in, get to work and get out quickly and safely.

Texans love their land, and a locked gate is every property owner’s right. But locked gates can impede Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s crews and contractors from restoring power during outages, trimming vegetation near power lines and performing important inspections and maintenance. 
 
Bluebonnet respects its members’ property and their right to privacy and works with them to ensure their rights are protected while still allowing the co-op to access their property when necessary. Bluebonnet provides locks to property owners on whose land the co-op has easements. The locks allow owners to protect their property while ensuring Bluebonnet’s workers have access to rights-of-way and power lines when necessary, so they can do their jobs safely and efficiently. 
 
The locks Bluebonnet provides are key-operated and have a stainless steel shank and brass body with our logo imprinted into it. (Some members’ gates have older locks that have B.E.C. instead of the logo imprinted into them.) 
 
Gates that are chained shut can use Bluebonnet locks in two ways. Bluebonnet’s lock and the property owner’s lock can be linked together, with each lock holding one end of the chain. Another option is to use a short piece of chain to connect the two locks, which each hold the end of the chain that keeps the gate closed. Opening either lock releases the chain, giving both the owner and Bluebonnet crews and contractors access to the property. 
 
Members who have electric gates can program a code specifically for Bluebonnet, then call a member service representative at 800-842-7708 to have the code noted on their account. Whenever crews need to get on the property, they can find the code via  mobile computers in their vehicles. 
 
Until about seven years ago, it was common for Bluebonnet members to see meter readers on their property monthly. Now that electric meters are read remotely, property owners may rarely see a co-op employee or contractor on their land. Understandably,  property owners would be cautious when they see unfamiliar faces on their land, even if the visitors are Bluebonnet workers. 
 
With more than 11,000 miles of power lines serving more than 85,000 meters, co-op crews and contractors are always in the field, working to keep power flowing. With Texas’ unpredictable weather being a top cause of outages, our crews need access to power lines all hours of the day and night, in all kinds of weather. 
 
Having a Bluebonnet lock on a gate or a designated code for electric gates helps us to restore power more quickly and safely. If members don’t want one of our locks or don’t want to provide us with a gate code, they can help us and their neighbors by ensuring we have their correct phone number or by opening their gate during outages. 
 
To get a Bluebonnet lock, provide a designated gate code or update contact information, members or property owners can call the co-op’s member service representatives at 800-842-7708 or visit any of the five member service centers in Bastrop, Brenham, Giddings, Lockhart and Manor. 

 

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