Many residents will be receiving notices from Denton Municipal Electric in the coming weeks, inviting them to one of several open houses planned to get their feedback over new substations planned near some neighborhoods.
The meetings are part of a new procedure the city-owned utility is using to work with residents who will be directly affected by a five-year, $308 million expansion and upgrade of the local electrical grid. The move was welcomed by City Council members, who were briefed on the schedule during a workshop session this week.
Phil Williams, general manager of DME, said more than 100 residents in Southridge attended a meeting this week about work planned for their neighborhood, which will require excavation to replace the buried power lines.
Three more meetings are planned in September to get feedback from residents in northwestern, northern and southeastern Denton. Residents within 500 feet of the possible locations for the new Northwest Switch substation, and the current Pockrus substation and Spencer interchange will receive the notice, Williams said.
The Pockrus substation will be expanded and, combined with new substations planned near the Spencer interchange, that expansion will ultimately affect the placement of new power lines in that area, Williams said.
The Northwest Switch substation will be built near FM1173 and the city’s western boundary with Krum, Williams said.
No meeting is planned for a fourth substation that will be built in far north Denton, at Loop 288 and North Locust Street, since that property is still open land.
The utility prefers to have its substations built before, so the community can build toward them, Williams said. For the far north Denton project, the 500-foot notification affected only one property owner, Williams said, “and three cows and two horses.”
DME will take public comments from the series of meetings to the Public Utilities Board in October. Plans are for the City Council to hold public hearings on the four projects in November.
Council member Dalton Gregory said he appreciated the new procedures. Mayor Mark Burroughs said he hoped DME wrote the notices so that the message was clear to residents who receive them.
“Sometimes people don’t realize it affects them,” Burroughs said.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.
OPEN HOUSE MEETINGS
Officials with Denton Municipal Electric have tentatively scheduled a series of open house meetings to discuss with affected residents the major capital improvement projects planned for the first year of a five-year, $308 million expansion of the city’s electric grid. The times and locations have not been determined.
Sept. 3: Pockrus Substation expansion (southeastern Denton)
Sept. 5: Northwest Switch station (near Masch Branch Road and FM1173)
Sept. 30: Pockrus to Spencer (southeastern Denton)