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Consumers Energy to begin major gas project



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June 13, 2012 - Brandon Twp.- Consumers Energy is bringing more natural gas to the township with one of the largest projects the utility company has undertaken in years.

"This is one of the biggest main extension programs we've had in a long time for our company," said Debra Dodd, Consumers Energy spokesperson.

As of June 11, the company had received 217 signed contracts and deposits from township residents who wished to be included in a gas main extension project. Consumers had sought sign-ups from 221 residents, 50 percent of the 442 residents to whom service was being offered. However, Dodd confirmed Monday that the company is satisfied and will proceed with the project.

Construction is slated to begin mid-July in the area of Allen and Reese roads in the southwest corner of the township.

Consumers Energy announced in February a proposal to install gas mains in unserviced areas of the township in three phases. Overall, the project would offer service to 2,000 occupied structures.

"Some of our representatives are still going door-to-door to contact people to see if they are interested," said Dodd.

She noted that Consumers will evaluate whether to extend gas mains on Osprey Ridge, Harmony Lane, Kathleen Lake Drive and Sherwood Court, where no response was received from any of the 13 homeowners, as well as Stanton Road, Thornridge Trail and Wooley Road, where very low response was received.

Any residents in the first phase who have not signed up and are still interested are encouraged to call Consumers. Additionally, all residents who have signed contracts need to call 1-800-477-5050 to set up a new billing account.

Customers will receive notices in the coming weeks and representatives will continue to make visits so services can be designed for each customer.

The majority of construction will involve pipes being laid via dug trenches. In environmentally sensitive areas, Dodd said boring will be done. There may be some inconvenience with road closures. The gas main distribution line will be installed in the road right-of-way with any mains installed on private roads requiring easements. The contractor will backfill areas that are trench dug, and soil will be compacted both on private property and on road right-of-way. Grass seed will be laid in road right-of-way only, with homeowners responsible for seeding their own property and doing any other landscaping.

"I'm just ecstatic to know so many of the residents will be able to save money," said Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman. "I'm thankful for all of the participation of neighbors talking to neighbors which greatly helped the project go through."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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