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Grand Haven residents present petition on changing city's energy services

Jul 14, 2023

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — A group of Grand Haven residents have presented a petition to change a city charter regarding energy services.

The charter amendment was introduced by the Board of Light and Power Charter Change (BLPCCC). It would dissolve Grand Haven's Board of Light and Power.

"The Board of Light and Power as it exists now, was created in a new city charter in 1959, when the city was, had, was building a new power plant to burn coal on Harbor Island and had a diesel power plant," said BLPCCC organizer Field Reichardt.

The city's electricity management would instead be transferred to a new department of energy services, which would include the city manager and city council.

The proposed change was prompted due to a drop in staffing for the Board of Light and Power.

"Now that we are no longer producing energy in Grand Haven, and is solely a distribution company, we feel, and the number of employees has dropped from in 2017. They had 83 employees, 82-83, pardon me, 72-73 employees, they’re now 40," said Reichardt. "They’re just doing distribution. And we feel that there can be some rationality that will make it a lot easier for people in the community to deal with them. They’re not very transparent, and we feel this change is a good one."

The petition has received more than 600 signatures since April.

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