* Consumers Energy Line Upgrade Project Along Broadway Ave. - May 7, 2020 UPDATE
In response to numerous neighbor inquiries regarding the restoration progress of the Consumers Energy line replacement project along Broadway Ave. the ODWNA reached out to CE for answers to some FAQs.
You can click on the photo for CE's response letter dated 5/7/20:
Consumers Energy: Tree Cutting / Easement Issue
* Consumers Energy Lindbergh/Phillips Line Upgrade Project February 5, 2020 Update
In response to neighbors reaching out regarding the process of how Consumers Energy is cutting down the trees along Broadway. We contacted CE yesterday and below is the response received this morning from their forester. We hope this information proves helpful. we will post further updates as received!
1. A private party has expressed interest in hauling off a lot of the wood. He has been coming in steadily behind us and taking it away. We didn’t want to haul it off if there is a chance it will be utilized. (NOTE - the agreement was that all wood would be hauled away - if the property owner didn't want it - within 7 days)
2. We will be bringing in a loader truck with a grapple to take down the bigger pieces (the tall "trunks"). It is more efficient to do this all at once when we can make a full load rather than a little bit at a time. This is why the big stubs are still standing.
3. Line crews are constructing very quickly and we need to expend maximum effort in front of them so they can keep going. If they have to wait while we are cutting and hauling wood, it will delay the whole process on Broadway, further inconveniencing the neighborhood. 4. Much of the work area where we have to finish tree work is occupied by the line crews. We are waiting for them to finish so we’re not in each other’s way.
* Consumers Energy Lindbergh/Phillips Line Upgrade Project (through the Winchell & Westnedge Hill Neighborhoods) January 2020 Update
We just received a couple of updates regarding this project from CE:
1) The forestry work/tree cutting for this project will begin next week (1/12). They will start at Stadium Dr. and work south along Broadway Ave. before heading east down Parkview Ave. The construction/line upgrades will follow the same path with that work starting January 20. There are some restrictions on winter work in the City of Kalamazoo. Functionally CE can’t work on the main roads (Whites Rd., Parkview Ave.) until spring. So CE will work on the less traveled (residential) streets now and try to get work done on those before spring. The forestry work has already started in Westnedge Hill on their residential streets. 2) The city did receive a $2,500 tree grant this year from CE. That money will be used to replace trees that are removed in city right-of-way areas for the project. As reminder, we met with CE in September 2019 in a public meeting at Winchell Elem. to have CE explain in detail the scope of their project. You can find details of that meeting on our website HERE
*Consumers Energy - Neighborhood Power Line Upgrade Project & Tree Cutting RESULTS: Wednesday 9/25/19 MEETING
About 70+ neighbors joined the ODWNA on Wednesday 9/25 evening at Winchell Elem. to meet with CE to learn about the scope/timeline/tree cutting procedures of the powerline upgrade project running the length of Broadway from Stadium to Parkview (and on to the Westnedge Hill area). CE reps from project coordinator, forestry & real estate departments came out and did a very thorough job of explaining the scope and details of the project.
Our City's forester, Parry Banta, also came out to explain how the city is protecting it's right of ways in this project by making it a condition of CE that they: 1) Remove and collect all tree wood within 7 days of cutting (unless the homeowner wants to keep it) 2) Give advance notice to property owners when/which trees will be removed 3) All stumps must be ground down and lawns restored 4) The city has secured funding from CE to pay to replace trees in the right of way of resident's lawns
We also appreciated that the city placing the condition on CE that they needed to come out and talk to our neighborhood before they started this project so it could be explained to us.
Not everyone came away happy with the answers, or the project itself, but all questions were answered in detail. It is important for all residents to have the opportunity to have their concerns heard by those making decisions that affect us!
*Consumers Energy Tree Cutting/Easement Issue UPDATE: October 2016
The City recently informed us that Consumers Energy has indefinitely postponed their plan to upgrade power lines in our neighborhood along Broadway, which also means that they will not, in the foreseeable future, be cutting any trees down along the proposed project route.
The City's Forester has assured the ODWNA that if/when CE proceeds with the project they will not only be held to their June 2016 agreement for tree cutting, but that they will also have to reapply to the City for approval.
You can read HERE the CE/City letter of agreement that was approved by the City's Tree Committee as it relates to this project.
*Consumers Energy Tree Cutting/Easement Issue UPDATE: May 23, 2016 -- Meeting With Consumers
Consumers Energy is asking our neighbors on Broadway between Crosswinds and Parkview to expand their easement so they can cut/trim existing and additional trees along this route in order to replace the existing power poles with new (possibly taller) poles and also to replace existing conductors.
Many neighbors along this route feel that they have not been given clear, consistent or timely information about the process to make an informed decision - as a result, many attended the City's 5/3 Tree Committee meeting. As a result of that meeting (which was attended by three Consumer energy representatives), Consumers is scheduling their own public meeting to address any questions or concerns neighbors may have:
When: Monday May 23 Where: City of Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant, Administration Bldg., Conference Rm. A, 1415 Harrison St. Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Please consider attending this meeting to learn more and/or give Consumers YOUR feedback on how they handle easements/tree trimming. This proposed tree cutting/trimming might not directly affect your property today, but voicing your concerns might just help our neighborhood today...and your trees tomorrow.
* Consumers would like questions submitted in advance if possible; if you have a question, you can email it to our neighborhood rep HERE by Friday 5/20, who will compile them and forward to Consumers.
Tuesday May 2, 2016 CITY TREE COMMITTEE MEETING RE: Consumers Energy Proposed Cutting on Broadway Ave. There will be a Kalamazoo City Tree Committee public meeting Tuesday May 3 to consider a request by Consumers Energy to expand their easement along Broadway Ave. from approximately Crosswind Dr. south to Parkview Ave.
When: Tuesday May 3 Where: City of Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant, Administration Bldg., Conference Room A, 1415 Harrison Street Time: 3:00pm
The City told us that Consumers is asking to cut/trim existing and additional trees along this route in order to replace the existing power poles with new (possibly taller) poles and also to replace existing conductors.
Although Consumers currently has an easement along this power line route, there has been a lack of clear, consistent and timely information regarding the expansion of this easement to affected neighbors, which will affect over 80 households.
Please consider attending this Tree Committee meeting and voice your questions and/or concerns, as the City will, at this meeting, decide whether to grant Consumers permission to cut down/trim trees along the power line route.
This proposed tree cutting/trimming might not directly affect your property today, but voicing your concerns might just help our neighborhood today...and your trees tomorrow.
If you have any questions, you can contact Todd Prior, City of Kalamazoo Forestry Supervisor, directly at #269-330-5321