Source: Sherman Publications

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Low turnout at Consumers meetings; deadlines loom

by Susan Bromley

January 30, 2013

Recent meetings with Brandon and Atlas residents regarding plans to extend natural gas mains in the townships had relatively low attendance, but officials are optimistic that the Consumers Energy projects will obtain the number of participants needed to proceed.

"We didn't have as many as expected—about 250 total," said Kathy Thurman of the number of residents who attended two meetings on Jan. 19 at the Brandon High School Performing Arts Center. "We anticipated at least twice that. Maybe residents already have a good idea of what is going on, or Saturday is not the best day for a presentation."

Debra Dodd, a spokesperson for Consumers Energy, said about 30 agreements have been signed by residents for the Brandon Township project. At least 400 agreements, or 50 percent of the 800 residences to whom service is being offered, are needed in order for the project to proceed.

About 90 people total attended two meetings held at Goodrich Middle School Jan. 26, said Dodd. She did not have figures for how many agreements have been obtained for that project, but again, at least 50 percent participation will be required, so a minimum of 300 sign-ups are needed from the 600 homes to whom service is being offered.

"I don't think (the low number of signed agreements) is unusual, they have to go home and think about it," said Dodd. "Hopefully this is another project that will go based on phase 1 (in Brandon Township)."

The deadline for signing up for the Brandon project is March 1. In Atlas Township, the deadline is March 8.

This is the second phase of a planned 3-phase gas main extension in Brandon Township. In December, Consumers Energy completed all gas service installations in phase one, which began in July and included 227 residences on Allen, Reese, Stanton, Sashabaw, Seymour Lake, and Sherwood roads, as well as side streets.

Phase II of the Consumers Energy project in Brandon Township would include the installation of 30 miles of gas main and encompass residences on Perry Lake, Hadley, Granger, Seymour Lake, Hummer Lake, State Park, Glass, and Honert roads, as well as numerous secondary roads.

The first phase of the Atlas Township project will include residences on Vassar, Dutch, Atlas, Irish, Horton, and Baldwin roads, and 15 miles of gas main.

Dodd said Consumers Energy representatives will go out and meet with customers who are expressing interest.

For more information, call 888-427-6246.