on Monday upgraded a major power pole configuration that delivers electricity to the entire north end of town.
"It's one of the benefits of having our own crew here in town," said Healdsburg electric lineman Jason Hageman. "We get to focus on maintenance."
Hageman and about a half-dozen other crew members took several hours to replace a 28-year-old "recloser" -- a type of circuit breaker -- at the top of the power pole on University Street just north of Powell Avenue.
Keeping up with new equipment helps avoid power outages, Hageman said.
He noted that the crew did not turn the power off to customers Monday and instead did the work while the lines were active or "hot."
"Generally we don't turn the power off," Hageman said, noting that the department tries to avoid inconveniencing customers. "Most of our work is done while the lines are electrified."
Having an in-house crew is also beneficial for response times if outages do occur, he said.
The power pole on University Street delivers electricity to all Healdsburg customers from Powell Avenue north to the city line.