|Belding, Michigan, is in Ionia|
County. (Wikipedia map)
Power loss in towns such as Belding, pop. 6,000, is an ongoing winter battle. Resident Chuck Loper told LaFurgey, "First thing you do is buy a generator if you live out on this road. . . . It depends on the weather, but when the weather hits, we usually lose (power) a lot. . . . You could be out for days and you never get a break. They don’t
discount you. You get our power back and it’s like you never lost your
power." When asked about burying lines, Loper said, “I love that idea. Because that would
eliminate a lot, especially out there because you’ve got so many bad
"Salisbury said burying a line costs five to six times more than putting it in the air on a pole. But in rural areas, where tree trimming and other maintenance is a challenge, the initial investment may be worth it," LaFurgey reports. "Consumers says it has launched a five-year, $5 billion infrastructure investment plan that includes inspecting half of its 50,000 miles of lines and trimming 7,000 miles of trees to reduce overall outages. The utility hopes burying lines in rural areas will add to those reductions. . . . Some of the first areas to have lines buried will be along the lakeshore in West Michigan. But don’t look for lines in the cities or suburbs to be buried."
The Michigan Public Service Commission has scheduled town-hall meetings to hear from people who were without power for days after February’s ice storms and talk about how the panel is working to improve the grid’s resiliency. Two in-person meetings will be held in Jackson and Dearborn on March 20. A virtual meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 21. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com or by mail to the PSC at Box 30221, Lansing MI 48909.