Transformer shortage impacting borough’s revitalization plans

A nationwide transformer shortage is impacting Zelienople Borough’s plans to revitalize its downtown.

To date, the Main Street Revitalization Project has brought new lighting, buried utility lines, sidewalk improvements and new parking spaces to the heart of the town.

The stretch between Spring Street and Beaver Street was set to have upgrades completed this year, but yet another national supply chain issue is causing unexpected delays.

In a Facebook post, the borough writes “Our contractor ordered transformers and other electrical components that are necessary to continue this project; however, the estimated delivery date has been delayed several times due to the national transformer shortage.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the national shortage is “severe.” The association urged the Biden Administration to take action last fall.

This year, the NAHB spoke out against proposed energy changes from the Department of Energy, claiming the changes could worsen the problem.

As of March, the NAHB claimed it takes more than 16 months to produce and deploy new transformers.

It’s unclear when Zelienople will be in receipt of the electrical components it needs to complete the project.

In the meantime, resident Heather Plonski, who works on Main Street, said she will be “patient” and is simply pleased that the borough strives to upgrade the corridor.

“I’ve lived all over the place in this state, and this is one of the only places I’ve seen that cares so much about their downtown looking great,” she said. “So, if it’s a supply chain issue, then we’ll wait. It’s not their fault because they do try and we appreciate that.”

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