Dublin is demanding American Electric Power be more responsive to power outages that have plagued thousands of Muirfield-area residents for years.

Dublin is demanding American Electric Power be more responsive to power outages that have plagued thousands of Muirfield-area residents for years.

Under the direction of the city manager, the city filed a formal complaint against AEP with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Aug. 18. The complaint stated that AEP has "provided and continues to provide unjust, unreasonable, insufficient, inadequate, unjustly discriminatory, unjustly preferential, and unobtainable electric utility service to the residents of Dublin."

"The city's intent was to file this administrative action as a way to support our residents' concerns, but it also expresses the concerns of the city to the PUCO about the situation," said Dana McDaniel, director of economic development and deputy city manager. "We appreciate that AEP came to city council and expressed intent to invest money and effort to repair the situation. We felt it was important to be on record with the PUCO about the city's concerns."

The filing outlines six measures the city is demanding AEP make within designated time periods. The measures include items such as making infrastructure improvements and solving service related issues.

The PUCO served AEP with the complaint Aug. 19. AEP has until Sept. 8 to respond to the complaint and file any motions.

"I don't know what our response is to that," AEP spokeswoman Vikki Michaelski said. "We're still evaluating that and once that's together we'll put that in our response to the PUCO."

Michaelski said the filing was unexpected because AEP has been working closely with Dublin officials and residents.

"We will continue to work with them and will continue to make progress on our work in that area," Michaelski said. AEP crews are currently on site in Muirfield working on cable line replacements.

AEP wasn't the only one surprised by the city's filing. Representatives from the PUCO have commented that AEP has been responsive to residents' concerns, said spokeswoman Shana Eiselstein.

"I think our staff is at the point where they are really just trying to mediate and help the Muirfield residents work with AEP," she said.

Dublin resident Bob Fathman has been in contact with AEP since 2005, but said he didn't see any real progress until he filed an informal complaint with the PUCO earlier this year.

"I think AEP has been very open in acknowledging the problem and been very cooperative," he said. "They've stepped up to the plate to upgrade the system and residents are e-mailing me that they see crews out in the neighborhood."

Fathman was surprised at the city's filing of the formal complaint because AEP already had presented changes to upgrade the system, and the PUCO told him they felt the plan was aggressive and effective.

"We can't go back and undo the damage from the past," Fathman said. "It seems to me AEP is fixing what ails us and I'm content."

AEP announced plans in 2006 to upgrade underground electric cable and committed $4.3-million to the project. Since then, AEP has re-evaluated and expanded its plan and has said it will contribute $8.8-million to complete work in the area.

The money will go to revitalizing or replacing 79 miles of nearly 90 miles of underground electric cable in the Muirfield Village subdivision, replacing about 10 miles of mainline cable as well as two miles of feeder exit cable, about 90 transformers and five switchgear units. Work also is being completed to upgrade a Sawmill substation that services the area.

AEP officials presented this information to Dublin City Council at a meeting earlier this month.

AEP plans to complete the work by September 2009.

Those plans could be affected by the city's filing with the PUCO, but it will take an unknown period of time before residents know for sure, as everything is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, Eiselstein said.