2018-02-11 / News

Almont set to spend $450,000 in sewer maintenance work

BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley @mihomepaper.com

ALMONT — The Almont Village Council voted Tuesday evening to hire Gerace Construction out of Midland to renovate the oxidation ditches and clarifiers at the village’s sewage treatment plant.

At $458,291, they were the low bidder among four companies vying for the work. Gerace came in nearly $133,000 less than the high bidder.

“It will cost us millions down the road if we don’t keep up on maintenance at wastewater treatment plant,” said village councilman Steve Schneider.

He said council members were “sitting on pins and needles,” when it came time for Rowe Engineering to make its presentation on the status of the village’s SAW grant inspection. “The good news,” said Village Manager Mike Connors, “is they didn’t find anything catastrophic,” which came as a bit of a surprise since the system hadn’t been inspected since it was first installed in the 1920s.

“It turned out really well,” Schneider said, noting the engineers found nothing that has to be addressed in the next five years. He said the video inspection did find a Consumers gas line that had been drilled through a sewer line, but that’s been repaired.

Connors said the information from the SAW grant study will be used to create a five-and-20-year work plan.

Schneider said 84 percent of the village’s sewers and 94 percent of its manholes have been video inspected.

The village will be looking for a new Downtown Development Authority (DDA) chairman. Schneider said Terry Roach submitted his resignation effective March 1, citing family and business reasons.

“We’re sad to lose him,” Schneider said.

He noted Roach has seven weddings, including his daughters, which will be out of state coming up. Schneider added, Roach has been spending more time with his aging parents in northern Michigan and things are heating up at his business, Gear Master Inc.

Council members voted to reappoint three DDA board members to additional three-year terms. Michael Bohm, Tammy Pepper, Tara Antonelli will be on the board through 2022.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) survey committee presented council members with their proposed survey. While the village voted to opt into the MMFLA Nov. 7, it has yet to adopt an ordinance laying out what will be allowed where.

Schnieder noted that 62 percent of Almont voters approved of legalizing medical marijuana sales, the same percentage the act was approved statewide and one percent less than Lapeer County’s approval rate.

He said the village will be sending paper surveys to every village resident. The surveys will include a random digit code that will allow people do complete the survey online through Survey Monkey, should they choose.

The idea, he said, is to get as much input from village residents as possible.

He said Gary Peltier, chairman of the Parks and Recreation committee, told council members his survey’s typically get 50 to 100 responses. Schneider said the village got 500 responses on a survey about the old Almont Elementary School.

The village, Schneider said, “wants to take the heartbeat of the community” before drafting an ordinance.

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