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Holland BPW Board Meets in Midst of Land, Contract Squabbles

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HOLLAND, MI (WHTC) - The Holland BPW is under some scrutiny these days.

The municipal utility is coming under some fire from businesses and residents targeted for relocation after City Council last week approved the purchase of land in the area of 5th Street and Fairbanks Avenue to build a new natural gas-fueled power plant. Some of those that would be displaced say that they need more time to find a new home or new location, and that no other suitable sites may be found. Utility officials are hopeful of having the site and surrounding area cleared for construction by late this fall.

Meanwhile, whether the BPW will continue to have a limited electrical presence in Laketown Township could be decided tonight. The township board is scheduled to hold a special meeting to decide whether to accept a new franchise agreement with the utility so that power for about 700 mostly residential customers in the far northwest corner of the township would continue to be provided by the BPW. If no new deal is reached by Wednesday, when the current franchise agreement extension expires, those customers would join the rest of the township in getting electricity from Consumers Energy. Concerns about future BPW plant expansion over the next three decades in the township is at the crux of the dispute over a new franchise agreement.

The BPW board holds a work-study session this afternoon to go over an Energy Risk Management Policy and Fuel Hedge Program report, along with updates to an annual Energy Optimization and Renewable Energy Plan Summary Report.

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