DTE officials promised work would be complete by Nov. 30 on the power grid serving a , saying the work should have been done four years ago.
DTE engineer Ron Gerken plans to return to City Council Dec. 12 to confirm the completion of the work, he said at a brief meeting Monday with City Council.
One of the 1,198 residents in that neighborhood, Tom DeBoever of Aline Drive, complained to DTE after he was . DeBoever's complaint prompted Gerken to recheck work at the power grid site, Gerken said Monday. He said that was when he discovered that work that should have been completed four years ago hadn't been.
Fuses will be added to each section of the power grid serving the neighborhood from Vernier and Mack to Blairmoor Court and Marter Road, Gerken said. The fuses will limit any outages to fewer homes, adding support to each section rather than forcing the whole grid to fail at once, he said.
Although the improvements are likely going to help decrease the power outages, Gerken said, it will not prevent outages caused by natural events, such as lightening or downed tree limbs. Squirrels or other animals also can be problematic.
The June 9 outage is blamed on lightning, according to a letter submitted to the council by DTE.
Three residents and council members asked a variety of questions of DTE officials—including whether the changes would bring the grid up to the level of other grids serving the rest of Grosse Pointe Woods. Gerken said the changes would.
When asked why the work wasn't completed, he explained a new reporting system was implemented and this job was missed during the transition between the two systems.
Gerken and DTE Regional Manager Joseph Cazeno Jr. both said they would be more than happy to talk with individual customers regarding their outages. The company is able to track service outages reported through its automated system of a particular address—tracking that can be telling, they said.
Woods Mayor Robert Novitke repeatedly mentioned that the DTE meeting was to end before the formal council meeting was to begin. He stopped some questions by council, explaining that the formal meeting needed to begin and asked the city attorney to escort the DTE officials into a nearby conference room.
DTE officials will make another appearance before the council Dec. 12—about two weeks after the upgrades are to be completed. DTE would then confirm whether the work has been finished and address any additional problems or concerns from the council and the public.