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Dowagiac City Council approves modification to city’s sewage grant application

Published 8:09am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Dowagiac City Council has approved a modification to the city’s grant application that would allow the government to receive additional funds to update the city’s sewer management system during its meeting Monday evening.

The new application will raise the amount of money the city is requesting from the state of Michigan, from $993,000 to $1.7 million. The city is one of many across the state applying for funding from Lansing, as part of the state’s stormwater, asset management and wastewater program, which is giving up to $2 million worth of grant money to each selected city in an effort to modernize the state’s sewage lines and plants.

The modified application is actually a consolidation of two grants the city planned to submit to the state’s SAW program. While the first would have gone out to the state immediately, the second would have been submitted later, asking for around $400,000 to complete a second round of work.

“It makes more sense to do it as one grant instead of two,” said Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson. “It will make the work go more efficiently, and it will also increase the city’s chances of receiving the grant money.”

The decision to combine the two grant applications was made last week, Anderson said. The city originally separated the two proposals due to the fact that it planned to hire separate firms to work on different components of the city’s waste management system, splitting the time frame in which they would be completed.

“Instead of doing either the plant or the lines, we can do them both at the same time, gaining some additional cost efficiency,” Anderson said.

The city plans to use the funds in a number of different ways. They will first conduct an inspection of its current sewage pipelines and facilities, to determine any damage to them and where best to repair them. In addition, the grant money will go toward the planning and creation of a new asset management system, which will allow the city to create a computerized database of its pipes, valves, pumps and lift stations.

The two firms the city plans to contract the work to is Wightman & Associates, based out of Benton Harbor, and Fleis and Vandenbrink Engineering, based out of Grand Rapids.

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