Board approves 16,000-square-foot expansion of DTE center

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published March 21, 2017

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Board of Trustees approved a revised site development plan March 13 in relation to DTE Energy Service Center expansion.

The expansion will occur on 10.84 acres of land located in the 40000 block of. Elizabeth Road, east of Groesbeck Highway.

Plans were approved by a 7-0 vote Feb. 23 by the Clinton Township Planning Commission, signaling that plans were in compliance with the Clinton Township Planning and Zoning Code. Two commission members were absent.

The intent of the expansion, as explained by engineering representative Geri Decatur, is to provide more office space, complete interior renovations and move a 9,000-square-foot truck shelter to the back of the building. It will accommodate different employees from different areas as well.

It is approximately a 16,000-square-foot addition. Drainage will be located in the front end of the property, complete with landscaping and drainage infrastructure for water filtration — along with additional trees along the front, side and rear.

Currently, the site has workers who come to the location, retrieve their orders and leave the premises. Contractors also come in with tree-cutting equipment.

Clinton Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem said during the meeting that he was pleased to see that the township is not only encouraging businesses to call the township home, but also that they are putting an emphasis on their carbon footprint.

“That is an eye towards, how do we do things in a more environmentally friendly way?” Gieleghem said.

He commended DTE for developing a parking lot that will have natural runoff, into natural overflow areas, so water will be kept out of storm sewers. He was happy DTE was mindful of that point.

“We want to let folks know that in the township, this is the direction that we know we’re having to go as well, as evidenced by our parking lot,” Gieleghem added.

Supervisor Bob Cannon commented on the windstorm that ravaged the metro Detroit area March 8, saying he was pleased with how both DTE and the township communicated with residents and businesses in regard to the storm’s activity.

“They did a fabulous job of getting as many homes and businesses up and running as quickly as they could during the worst storm they ever had. … They were very informative, not only to the press but to us here at the local levels,” Cannon said. “So, we appreciate that.”

He said he hopes the bigger facility will lend itself to having more trucks on scene in case of future weather abnormalities.

Clerk Kim Meltzer countered Cannon, saying her experience with the company has not been as satisfactory. She hopes they are more prepared in such scenarios in the future.

“I know this was a huge undertaking,” Meltzer said March 13. “However, there were and there still are a lot of people without power. I think that they should have brought in much earlier more people to manage this and take this on.”

She added that in her experience, DTE was not as compliant with residents during the economic downturn — in terms of threatening to cut power and demanding bill payments.

“Now that they’re in a situation where they’re kind of unprepared, now they want a lot of understanding,” she said. “And yet, I can’t recall that being the case in 2007 and 2008 when (people) were hurting and (DTE was) strict.”

Cannon said that DTE has been representative of a “great company,” and like all other entities they have work to do to stay that way.