Gas franchise ordinance

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that at its regular meeting on May 7, 2019, at the Township Hall located at 6483 Waldon Center Drive, Independence, MI  48346, the Charter Township of Independence Board of Trustees approved the Introduction and First Reading of the Consumers Energy Company Gas Franchise Ordinance and scheduled a Second Reading of the amendment at a regular meeting to be held on May 21, 2019 to consider adoption of the ordinance as follows:





AN ORDINANCE granting to consumers energy company, its successors and assigns, the right, power and authority to lay, maintain and operate gas mains, pipes and services on, UNDER, along, AND across the highways, streets, alleys, bridges, waterways, and other public places, and to CONDUCT a local gas business in the charter township of independence, oakland county, michigan for a period of thirty (30) years.


Section 1. GRANT and TERM. The Charter Township of Independence, Oakland County, Michigan (“Township”), hereby grants to Consumers Energy Company, its successors and assigns, (hereinafter “Grantee”), the right, power and authority to lay, maintain and operate gas mains, pipes and services (hereinafter “Gas System”) on, under, along, and across the public highways, streets, alleys, bridges, waterways, and other public places (hereinafter also referred to as “Public Ways”), and to conduct a local gas business in the Township for a period of thirty (30) years (“Franchise”).

Section 2. CONSIDERATION. In consideration of the rights, power and authority hereby granted, Grantee shall faithfully perform all things required by the terms of this Ordinance.

Section 3. CONDITIONS.

  1. No Public Way used by the Grantee shall be obstructed longer than necessary during construction, maintenance, or repair. Grantee and its contractors and subcontractors shall within a reasonable time promptly restore, at Grantee’s sole cost and expense, any portion of the Public Ways that is in any way disturbed, damaged, or injured by the construction, operation, maintenance or removal of the Gas System to as good or better condition than that which existed prior to the disturbance. If Grantee, its contractors or subcontractors fail to complete the required restoration within a reasonable time, the Township, after providing Grantee five (5) business days’ written notice of the Township’s intention to do so (except in an emergency as reasonably determined by the Township), shall among other remedies be entitled to perform or secure performance of the required restoration, with the Township’s actual and reasonable administrative costs and expenses in doing so to be paid by Grantee to the Township within 30 days of receipt of the Township’s billing or invoice. Disturbance or damage caused during winter months and which cannot be properly restored due to frozen conditions shall be restored so as not to interfere with the public’s use of the Public Way, with full restoration of the disturbance or damage being completed no later than May 1stof the first calendar year following such disturbance or damage.
  2. Grantee shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws applicable to the installations and business for which this Franchise is granted.
  3. All of Grantee’s Gas Systems shall be placed in the highways and other public places so as not to interfere with the public’s use of the Public Ways.
  4. Grantee, at its own cost and expense, shall relocate or remove its Gas System in a Public Way or public area whenever such relocation or removal is required by a Township Board Resolution as being necessary for use of the Public Way or public area for a public improvement in furtherance of a public purpose of the Township. This provision is not a waiver of Grantee’s existing or future rights under state or federal law and does not restrict or impair Grantee’s rights under any applicable laws regarding vacation or relocation of streets.
  5. Any easements over or under property owned by the Township other than the Public Ways shall be separately negotiated with the Township.

Section 4. NOTICE. Except for emergency and service restoration work, Grantee shall provide the Township Clerk with at least thirty (30) days’ prior written notice before commencing the construction, maintenance, or repair of any part of the Gas System requiring excavation in or the closing of any Public Ways in the Township. The notice shall include the following information:

  1. The address and telephone number for applicable Consumers Energy offices;
  2. The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the Consumers Energy representative overseeing the work;
  3. The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the company completing the work on behalf of Consumers Energy, if any, and of all persons responsible for overseeing the work;
  4. A description of the scope and location of the work to be performed;
  5. The expected start and end dates of the work; and
  6. Copies of all applications, plans, and other documents submitted to the Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC) and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for a construction permit or documentation of the date when those submittals will be made and with an agreement to provide the Township with the required copies at that time.

Section 5. HOLD HARMLESS. Grantee shall at all times keep and save the Township free and harmless from all loss, costs and expense to which it may be subject by reason of the construction, maintenance and operation of the structures and equipment hereby authorized. In case any action is commenced against the Township on account of the permission herein given, Grantee shall, upon notice, defend the Township and save it free and harmless from all loss, cost and damage arising out of such construction, maintenance and operation.

Section 6. EXTENSIONS. Grantee shall construct and extend its Gas System within the Township and shall furnish gas service to applicants residing therein in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Section 7. FRANCHISE NOT EXCLUSIVE. The rights, power and authority herein granted are not exclusive.

Section 8. RATES. Grantee shall be entitled to charge the inhabitants of the Township for gas furnished at the rates approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission for so long as the Commission or its successors have authority and jurisdiction to fix and regulate gas rates and promulgate rules regulating such service in the Township. Such rates and rules shall be subject to review and change at any time upon petition by the Township or Grantee.

Section 9. REVOCATION. The Franchise granted by this ordinance is subject to revocation upon sixty (60) days written notice by either party.

Section 10. TOWNSHIP JURISDICTION. Grantee shall be and remain subject to all ordinances, rules and regulations of the Township applicable to the regulation of land uses for the protection of the health, safety and general welfare of the public; provided however, that nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver by Grantee of any of its existing or future rights under state or federal law.

Section 11. MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, JURISDICTION. Grantee shall, as to all other conditions and elements of service not addressed or fixed by this Ordinance, remain subject to the rules and regulations applicable to gas service by the Michigan Public Service Commission, or its successor bodies, to the extent such jurisdiction applies.

Section 12. SALE, ASSIGNMENT, AND TRANSFER OF FRANCHISE. Grantee shall not sell, assign, sublet, or transfer this Franchise without the prior written consent of the Township Board, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.

Section 13. REPEALER. This Ordinance, upon being published, effective, and accepted as provided in Sections 15 and 16, shall repeal and supersede the provisions of any prior Ordinance granting a Franchise to Consumers Energy Company or Consumers Power Company, specifically including Consumers Power Company Gas Franchise Ordinance, adopted by the Township Board of Trustees on or around June 20, 1989, and Consumers Power Company, adopted by the Township Board of Trustees on April 21, 1959.

Section 14. SEVERABILITY. The various parts, sections, clauses of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, sentence, paragraph, section or clause is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the Ordinance shall not be affected thereby.

Section 15. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon publication; provided, however, it shall cease and be of no effect after thirty (30) days from its adoption unless within said period the Grantee shall accept the same in writing filed with the Township Clerk. If at any time prior to or after the effective date of this Ordinance, Grantee determines that it will no longer provide written acceptances of Franchise Ordinances, then Grantee’s construction, maintenance, or operation of Gas Systems in the Township, or conducting of business in the Township for which this Franchise is given, shall constitute acceptance of this Franchise by the Grantee and Grantee’s failure to provide a written acceptance shall not have the effect of terminating this Ordinance. Upon Grantee’s written acceptance, or upon Grantee’s operation of Gas Systems or business in the Township after the effective date stated herein, this Ordinance shall constitute a contract between the Township and Grantee.

Section 16. ENACTMENT. This Ordinance is declared to have been enacted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Independence at a meeting called and held on the ________ day May, 2019, and ordered to be given publication in the manner prescribed by law.






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I, the undersigned, the qualified and acting Township Clerk of the Charter Township of Independence, Oakland County, Michigan, do certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of the Ordinance adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Independence at a meeting held on the ___day of    _________, 2019, the original of which is on file in my office.


By: Barbara A. Pallotta, Clerk

Introduced: May 7, 2019

Published:  May 15, 2019-Clarkston News





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