DTE Energy will hold a community meeting providing an overview of its gas renewal program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.
DTE Energy plans to begin work in February to modernize utility service in an area of Dearborn designated “Dearborn Area 1. According to a map released by DTE Energy, the project area boundaries will run starting just east of the Henry Ford Centennial Library itself, heading north between Mercury Drive and Westland Street to Ford Road (M-153).
These boundaries will include the north frontage of Ford as far east as Oakwood Boulevard, turn south along the east frontage of Oakwood to the intersection of Miller Road, and then conclude by running behind the south frontage of Prospect Street before crossing Greenfield Road and running behind the frontage of the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center and the 19th District Courthouse/Police Headquarters building.
The east downtown of Dearborn and neighborhoods contained within these Dearborn Area 1 boundaries, Dearborn Department of Information Director Mary Laundroche said, will be affected by major work activity starting next month. It will primarily consist of DTE crews entering each residential home in order to change the meters of its residential customers.
Both commercial and residential customers, Laundroche continued, will also be disrupted by construction done along streets and easements. Laundroche was unsure how major non-residential properties might be affected.
Whether the meters will be changed at downtown sites (like the City Hall building construction project, Beaumont/Midwest Medical Center complex, Schaefer Building and Arab American National Museum—and parking lot/strip malls behind them—and other downtown properties running along the axis of the Schaefer Road/Michigan Avenue intersection) and at other major non-residential sites (such as the city’s powerhouse and other civic center campus buildings, Dearborn Ice Skating Center, Fordson High School and other schools, the school campus and industrial row along Prospect, Fairlane Meadows, etc.) will depend on the property and the type of system by which DTE Energy is servicing it.
“But even areas with commercial customers will all be affected by the disruption of construction,” Laundroche explained. “DTE Energy was supposed to mail packets about the project, why we need DTE Energy to do the project, phone numbers for people to contact if they have questions, and how to confirm they have legitimate representatives of DTE Energy coming onto their property.
“There was additional packets mailed to every property owner, to provide extensive information on the project,” she said.
John Cascardo, the city’s liaison with the city’s neighborhood associations, has also made these homeowner groups aware of the Jan 28 meeting at the Centennial Library, Laundroche said, and the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority is also aware of the meeting.
DTE is to install new natural gas meters outside of homes, so it will no longer necessary for DTE Energy workers to come in and do meter reads and maintenance work. The aging infrastructure (mainly pipes of cast iron, unprotected steel, or copper) will be replaced with new modern plastic main and service lines. The work is to be done without charge to customers.
After work is completed in Dearborn Area 1, then DTE Energy will move on to replace natural gas infrastructure in the rest of the city as well. While everyone in the city is welcome at the Jan. 28 meeting at the Henry Ford Centennial Library to ask about work taking place in those other areas not taking place immediately, Laundroche said, DTE Energy will hold future community meetings each time they are about to enter any area of Dearborn.
The Henry Ford Centennial Library is located on the eastern edge of the city’s municipal complex on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Greenfield, flanked to the east by the Dearborn Police Headquarters and 19th District Court, and The Ford Community and Performing Arts Center; and to the west by an athletic field and the Dearborn Administrative Center. It is on the south side of Michigan Avenue (U.S-12), generally across from Ford World Headquarters and just east of Exit 6 off the Southfield Freeway (M-39).
Dearborn residents with questions on the community meeting or the gas renewal program can call DTE Energy at (313) 256-6277.