Tom DeBoever and his wife moved to for a better life. The retired couple lives on Aline Drive. DeBoever is overall very satisfied with their decision to move in 2004 but after the most recent power outage, he's frustrated.
DeBoever lives in —a problem city officials are well aware of and for which they are trying to .
DeBoever expressed his frustrations about the lack of stable power to his home to Woods council members Monday during their Committee of the Whole meeting. He said he understands work was done a few years ago for improvements, but questions whether it really changed.
At 73, DeBoever has no desire to move, he said, explaining that he is considering investing in a natural gas-powered generator with a price tag of $3,000 to $5,000 for his home. With a back issue, he said, a portable generator is not a possibility because he would be unable to move it.
Before making the significant investment, DeBoever wanted to know what, if anything, the city is doing and whether the problem is likely to improve. He also questioned why the frequent power outages are not seemingly a bigger issue to fellow residents, city officials and media.
His neighbors, he said, are "taking it lying down." He will not, he said.
Councilman Art Bryant, who also lives in the neighborhood plagued by the outages, told DeBoever that the issue is of utmost importance to city officials. Bryant also gave some background on the work that has been done, explaining that there were many meetings between the council and DTE.
Bryant also said that upgrade work had been done by DTE and it did improve the situation for a while. The two most recent lengthier outages, following a few shorter outages, would suggest otherwise, he said.
The grid that serves the neighborhood is old, one of the oldest in the area, Bryant and Councilwoman Vicki Granger said. That is part of the problem and despite the upgrade completed a few years ago, the system is older than any other grids, they said.
Granger said much of the challenge by city officials with DTE during the last round of meetings in which the council wanted answers about what was being done to fix the problem was the company's delay tactics. Eventually, however, progress was made, she told DeBoever.
Mayor Robert Novitke said to DeBoever that while it's not something the city controls directly, the situation is of concern to city officials.
City officials are still waiting to hear from DTE about a meeting requested Friday. Granger previously told Patch the goal is to find out what DTE is doing to fix the problem permanently.
Patch is awaiting additional information from DTE about the history of work done to the power grid serving that neighborhood.