Archived Story

City of Dowagiac begins making updates to wastewater plant

Published 8:00am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Seeds planted by the city last year through a number of grant applications for the city’s sewage management system are slowly beginning to rise and blossom.

The city council approved initial design work to begin on improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant during its regular meeting Monday evening. The work will be performed by Fleis & Vandenbrink Engineering, based out of Kalamazoo, for $197,400.

The council has been considering making improvements to the city’s wastewater plants for several years, as there are pieces of equipment used at the facility that are reaching the end of their useful lifespan. Last year, the council authorized a number of grant applications to help cover the expected $2 million price tag for these improvements: $400,000 worth of energy efficiency grants and a $200,000 storm water, asset management and wastewater grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The preliminary design work will be paid for out the city’s pocket, from their sewer fund, said City Manager Kevin Anderson.

“We’ll be eligible for getting a refund in 2016,” Anderson said. “Other than losing a little bit of interest on that, it will be a good use of funds.”

Once the engineering firm finalizes designs for the first phase of improvements, the city will open the project up for bids to complete the proposed work, Anderson said.

“We’re also eligible for low interest state financing on this particular project, which will be the next step once we give the engineers probable cost,” he said.

Other business conducted by the council on Monday included:

• A resolution authorizing the purchase of remote meter reading services from Itron for $138,498. The system will be used for buildings around the Donnell and Diamond lake areas, per their management and service agreement with the Cass Area Utility Authority. Once the system is in place, annual software licensing fees will be shared across both entities.

• A resolution authorizing the purchase of a replacement bus for the Dial-A-Ride Transportation system, in the amount of $63,183. The new vehicle will have eight seats and two spots for passengers with wheelchairs, along with an improved lift for people with disabilities. Most of the funds for this purchases, totaling $60,000, will be provided for with federal and state grants.

• A resolution authorizing final loan documents with Forrest Finn LLC for a project at 115 Front Street, via the city’s Revolving Loan Fund.

• A resolution authorizing the payment of the city’s outstanding bills and payroll, totaling $483,823.25.

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