19 Aug 2014
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DTE to Offer Information in Woods Wednesday

A meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in Grosse Pointe Woods involving officials from DTE, Grosse Pointe Woods and the state's Public Service Commission concerning the lack of consistent service to certain areas.

DTE to Offer Information in Woods Wednesday

residents are invited and encouraged to attend a meeting Wednesday at the Community Center during which DTE officials will explain what caused a weekend long power outage to the neighborhood plagued by such power failures for years.

DTE officials are also expected to explain their plan to address the problem to ensure reliable, consistent service. The meeting is in mid-July during a council meeting in which residents and business owners shared their dissatisfaction about their service.

The information is to address specifically the neighborhood northeast of the Mack and Vernier intersection, which serves about 1,200 DTE customers.

Wednesday's meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., follows a meeting Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke, Woods City Administrator Al Fincham and City Manager Shane Reeside had last week with the Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates public utility companies.

The Commission has been in contact with DTE regarding the problems in the Woods, Fincham said, explaining what information he and the mayor found out during their meeting.

Additionally, Public Service Commission representatives shared that DTE intends to split the circuit serving the neighborhood plagued for decades by outages so fewer customers will be on each circuit and therefore ideally making service more reliable.

There had been discussion of this previously and it became of concern again that lasted longer than DTE officials anticipated. At that time, Fincham said not only are the power outages an inconvenience but there are safety concerns related to residents. Among those of particular concern are residents at or others who may be in need of power for life-maintaining machines, he said.

DTE had promised city officials the that night--depending upon the location within the grid.

Inaccurate restoration estimates are among the other complaints voiced by residents and at least one business owner following the weekend outage in early July. During that outage the restoration estimates were changed every few hours and then finally on that Sunday morning Woods public safety officers went could be determined because all fixes were failing.

Similar to the delay in restoring power then in late August with the downed tree and wire.

According to information provided to the Michigan Public Service Commission by DTE, officials have:

  • Already begun on the circuit to split it into two, according to the information provided by the Public Service Commission, and completion of the project is expected in the summer of 2013. The project is estimated to cost about $400,000.
  • Additionally, DTE had installed additional fuses to the circuit in December 2011 to improve the circuit--a project that cost $40,000.

Fincham said representatives from both DTE and the Michigan Public Service Commission are expected to attend Wednesday night. As a result, power was ultimately restored after DTE workers transferred the circuit to an alternate circuit and relay circuits have already been replaced.

The two-hour meeting with the Public Service Commission was described by Fincham as "very good."

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