Sturgis considers electric line replacement

The Sturgis Electric Department is considering replacing a 12-kilovolt hydro transmission line with a 69-kilovolt rural transmission line.

The proposed line would run about six miles from a potential rural substation on Balk Road, south to Featherstone Road, east to North Centerville Road and parallel to the current system south of Schrader Road until approximately West Lafayette Street, where it turns west to follow North Centerville Road back to the central substation.

Poles would be traditional round wood, such as those near Fawn River Road and Franks Avenue.

Michael McGeehan, president of GRP Engineering, explained why the city should invest in higher voltage and higher capacity than a hydro line: three of the substations will be in a low-voltage condition in five years, and by the time the Island Hills subdivision in Nottawa Township builds out, all will be in a low-voltage condition.

Estimated cost of the rural transmission line itself is $2.5 million and the substation $1 million. Money for the project, which will provide reliable power to customers, is in the electric department’s budget.

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