This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday is Trash Day for West of Woodward Residents and Wednesday for East of Woodward Residents. Snow, an Unanticipated day one Guest.

Note cart tire tracks and  foot prints going and coming.

The lingering leaves of Autumn on a Spring day from a picture taken last week. Note the season identifying greenery. What is it that they say about Michigan Weather.?
Green and Taupe anyone ?  The colors of the golf course or for that matter the U.S. Army but not  the colors of  the City of Bloomfield Hills. What if the cans were re-done in Army forest camouflage would they be less apparent ?  We hate to be critical but the City is very picky about it's colors. Black is more apparent close up. Army green at a distance. Regardless the cans
seem popular to the point of some becoming permanent edge of driveway fixtures.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie: Our Message to the Community. We are here for you.

When DTE Energy  began   (December 2014) its “ground to sky” tree removal program in Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, it unleashed a firestorm of protest from residents who watched grand old trees reduced to sawdust and stumps. Almost immediately my office was inundated with calls from concerned residents demanding that action be taken to halt the tree removal. I called DTE, which agreed to stop the work. I, along with DPW Director Tom Trice, met with DTE officials onsite where trees were being removed. We expressed our extreme disappointment and displeasure in how this matter was being handled. A follow-up meeting was held on Feb. 6. Along with myself, attending was Mike McCready, Jay Cravens, Bloomfield Hills Mayor Michael Dul, Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner Michael Coakley and several representatives from DTE

As a result of the meeting it was determined: 

  •  DTE will reach out to property owners along an affected line route using a combination of mailings, door hangers and phone calls. 
  •  DTE will meet with representatives of the Township and go over its entire plans for properties in the Township. 
  •  DTE will mark all areas of clearance and mark every tree it plans to trim or remove. 
  •  DTE will meet with every affected homeowner to go over their scope of the project and will not remove trees on private property outside of its easements without the written permission of the property owner. 
  •  DTE will not initiate the program on the property of homeowners who object to it until first meeting with Township or City officials to go over the impact on that property and what the options are. 
  •  DTE will remove any logs, stumps, brush and debris from the property unless the homeowner objects.  In some cases, DTE will replace removed trees with other trees or vegetation.

Additionally, we discussed the possibility of DTE placing wires underground. However, that is cost prohibitive. It is estimated that it would cost each household in excess of $150,000 to place wires underground. That option is not feasible. However, we did recommend that DTE confer with the Hubbell, Roth & Clark engineering firm to learn how it has worked with neighborhoods during the construction of the safety path system in the Township. HR&C has a long association with the Township and understands the sensitivities of the residents and how to deal with that. This communication will be sent to the United Homeowners Association of Bloomfield Township and made available to all members of the community. Our goal is to maintain a free-flowing open line of communications with all persons and let them know that we, as Township officials, are attuned to their concerns. Our message to the community is that we are here for you.

Monday, March 9, 2015

December 4th 2014 Case Number U-17542 after a year before the Michigan Public Service Commission.

 It seems every one has an opinion on what  the report says but few have actually read it.  

 The report is ten pages long. What everyone is curious about is what  exactly what the MPSC ordered  the utility  companies to do.  Through editing  we have provided that information at the outset.
Then after a few  observations of things we have noticed, so that  that  the reader might  better appreciate what is  being reported,  we have printed the report in it's entirety without  editing  or modification. 

It is important to understand that the MPSC is a regulating body. Like your parents when you lived at home it makes the rules. If you read this report and  the two other that provided  earlier in the this series of articles you will realize that  the MPSC is always on the utility's back about a number of issues on a consistent  basis.

 Examples include response time on such things as  the  response time for downed power lines, customer refunds for outages and how fast they are processed,  and of course  the big bug a boo tree trimming money and how fast that money is processed and spent for  it's intended purpose
In the below report  Consumer's energy is chided for having spent only 46 million of the 53 million  requested in vegetation management money. (page 4).

On page five  It is noted that DTE  "is currently spending  all of its allocated  funding  on vegetation management. Note the use of the present  tense." Would some of that allocated money be spent  ground to sky  initiative DTE launched on Kensington road later in the month ?
Read  the MPSC report of December 4th 2014  and you will see no mention of  a Ground to Sky program. That is because it is  a  DTE program DTE came up with  to show the MPSC that it is  doing it's homework in terms of tree trimming money spent and Pilot programs. Grand to Sky was harsh , The actual  assignment given by the MPSC on December 4th 2014 was rather benign.

 The data for the hazardous  tree removal program was to be drawn from Pilot programs from many communities including the City of Bloomfield Hills.