Image: Sunset Bay Marina and RV Park

A local business owner’s plans have been put on hold after finding out DTE Energy could not provide electricity to the business until he paid to fix the infrastructure.

“We jet 1,500 feet into the bay, so all of our campsites have beautiful views of the sunset and sunrise,” said Anthony Gallo, with Sunset Bay Marina and RV Park.

Sunset Bay Marina and RV Park is a popular destination this time of year. They’ve been located in Unionville for more than 60 years and are known for camping, boating, fishing, and much more.

“We really cater to the local community. It’s a family gathering atmosphere, everybody knows everybody, everybody cares about everybody,” Gallo said.

Gallo wants to expand the business by expanding the marina docks and adding electricity for campers. He received a permit to do so but then ran into an issue with DTE.

“So, I went to DTE Energy to power up for the other 39 sites, they told me there’s no power in this area,” Gallo said.

He said it’s a shocking revelation that could stop his plans.

“We welcome more and more business, but we can’t meet the demand without electricity,” Gallo said.

According to DTE, in order to upgrade the infrastructure, it’ll cost the owner more than $400,000.

“It would cost me probably about $150 or so to just power up for those 39 sites which we’re willing to take care of but we’re definitely not willing to pay for their infrastructure,” Gallo said.

TV5 reached out to DTE Energy concerning the issue. They provided us with the following statement: 

DTE Energy has electric service feeding the Sunset Bay Marina & RV Park. At this time without doing system upgrades DTE cannot provide electric service to additional Sunset property. The system upgrades are needed to ensure reliability to other customers in the area. DTE provided cost estimates for Sunset to contribute to the project.

The owner of Sunset was not happy with the cost estimate that was provided and filed a Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) complaint. MPSC agreed with DTE and determined that the customer would need to contribute to the project.

DTE is a regulated utility and must follow the rules and procedures that are governed by the MPSC rate book.

Over the past couple of year, DTE has made several upgrades to the circuit to improve reliability.

Gallo said it’s their responsibility to facilitate the infrastructure which hasn’t been updated since the 1950s.

“No, it’s no way I can expand,” Gallo said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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