2016-10-13 / News

Consumers Energy gets OK

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

SWARTZ CREEK – Consumers Energy has received a special land use permit to install gas regulating equipment on land on Bristol Road near Miller Road.

The power company plans to install modern, above-ground equipment to replace an aging, subterranean system on Miller Road near Bristol Road.

Consumers Energy spokesman Kevin Fielder said the company had tried to purchase land on the north side of Bristol, close to the General Motors facility, but the land owner was unwilling to sell.

Fielder said company officials had also looked at city-owned land on Dye Road, but to move the facilities that great of a distance would cost more than $1 million, which would be cost-prohibitive.

Consumers still must purchase the two parcels where they propose to install the equipment that will convert high-pressure natural gas to medium-pressure for delivery to area homes.

The City Council on Monday, Oct. 10, approved the permit for the land that sits behind El Potrero restaurant.

The land is zoned for residential use, but local zoning ordinances allow “essential public services” in residential areas, provided the property owner obtains a special land use permit.

Local residents opposed the permit, citing concerns for health, safety and the environment.

Fielder responded that the new equipment will be safer than the existing equipment located 350 feet away.

He said the company has altered its plan to install a pressure release valve, eliminating the potential for gas odor emissions.

The project includes installing two small enclosures and some aboveground piping, which Consumers crews will check and service monthly.

The power company will clear away some debris and vegetation to tidy up the site and provide access for vehicles, and will preserve some vegetation for screening purposes. They also will mow the property, per city ordinance.

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