By Paul Garrod
ALMENA TWP. – Wednesday night, March 15, following nearly 25 minutes of public comment, with most of it dealing with Consumer Energy’s proposed “Crandall High Voltage Transmission Line,” the Almena Township Board approved a resolution opposing the transmission line through Almena Township.
The board was given a presentation at its December regular meeting from Consumers Energy representative, Tim Voss, who explained the proposed high voltage transmission line through Almena Township as the only feasible route option based on “exhaustive study” of alternative route options.
An informational meeting scheduled Feb. 28, was cancelled, and re-scheduled for a later date, due to the death of a Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department firefighter, and newly discovered environmental questions, according to Derek Nofz, Consumers Energy community affairs manager.
The resolution stated in part: “The Almena Township Board recognizes that Almena Township landowners, residents and taxpayers have the right to quiet enjoyment of their property without encroachments.”
The resolution further stated, “the proposed route Consumers Energy wishes to utilize in Almena Township will result in significant loss of trees and established woodland due to the proposed 80 foot wide ‘clear cut’ zone and 160 foot wide ‘danger tree’ zone.”
The Almena Township Board of Trustees said in the resolution, “the purpose of the transmission line offered by Consumers Energy is to provide electric power to the Crandall Industrial Park in the Village of Lawrence and improve reliability of electric service.”
The township board stated in the resolution, “It is this board’s understanding that the proposed power line, while perhaps benefitting the Crandall Industrial Park, the line will not serve directly or improve current electric service or reliability to Consumer’s Energy customers in Almena Township.”
In opposing the proposed route, the township board further stated in the resolution that the township board “request Consumers Energy to evaluate alternative, less intrusive routes for the proposed transmission line such as along and parallel to Interstate 94.”