by Karen Mead-Elford, staff writer

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

Consumers Energy continues replacing gas pipelines in Owosso as demonstrated by the Consumers Energy employees working on Washington St. on Monday, Oct. 10. Over one mile of gas mains in the downtown area are currently being replaced and work will not be finished until mid-November. The old gas mains are considered to be unreliable.

The Owosso project falls under a Consumers Energy Enhanced Infrastructure Replacement Program (EIRP). Consumers Energy has dedicated crews for these types of installations, so the crews will not be called away to emergencies.

Some business owners are agitated over the ongoing construction work, and the necessary orange barrels and utility work signs that are dispersed, especially along Washington Street. A few merchants have claimed that the construction work is interfering with business, and they are particularly upset that they had not been given notice prior to the ensuing work. When these concerns were voiced at the Owosso City Council meeting Monday, Oct. 3, it was made clear by City Manager Don Crawford that, “Consumers has an open permit and can do anything they want.”

Terry DeDoes, a spokesperson of Consumers Energy, recently stated, “We have documentation about the communication that we’ve done. We sent letters out on July 27 and reminder postcards on Aug. 19.” In addition to the written communication, DeDoes wants it known that Consumers Energy had representatives going door-to-door downtown, “letting folks know what to expect with our work.”

DeDoes added that Consumers Energy will be working their schedule around the Oktoberfest event that begins on Friday, Oct. 14 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 16. Oktoberfest is organized by the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce and primarily takes place in the area of Exchange and Water streets.

Downtown Owosso Construction Continues was last modified: October 12th, 2016 by Karen Elford