Buchanan culvert modification project extended

Published 10:25 pm Monday, November 8, 2010

BUCHANAN — The Smith Street Culvert Modification Project in Buchanan will end up costing the city more than expected.

The city commissioners approved an emergency expenditure of $22,425 Monday night for extra work on a 10-inch water main that was unable to be shut off.

The total cost of the project now is close to $100,000, according to city manager Bill Marx.

Selge Construction out of Niles will complete the work.

Newly elected commissioner Dave Hagey asked Marx about the quality of the water valves.

Marx said most of the city’s 425 valves date back to the 1940s and 1950s.

“We need to address a valve replacement program,” Marx said. “$4,000 a valve is the cost. It’s pretty expensive.”

Hagey suggested that the price of more repairs like the current one and those made after the water main break in August could add up to more than the cost to replace the valves.

“I’m afraid we’ll come across this sort of thing again,” Hagey said. “These things tend to happen in threes and fours and fives.”

Marx said under the current budget, the city may be able to afford replacing five valves a year, unless it can gain more funding.

Carla Cole reappointed mayor

Also at Monday’s Buchanan City Commission meeting, Mayor Carla Cole was reappointed as mayor.

Cole took over as mayor when former Mayor Barbara Clark passed away in February.

Commissioner Patricia Moore made the motion, and it passed 3-2 with Joe Scanlon and Warren Weaver voting no.

Scanlon was appointed mayor pro tem by a unanimous vote.

Trail extension approved

The commissioners also approved a request from the Friends of McCoy’s Creek Trail to authorize the construction of 3,500 feet of new walking trail west of the baseball field, as an extension of McCoy’s Creek Trail.

Dick Proud of the Friends of McCoy’s Creek Trail said it will be gravel path 10 feet wide and three inches thick.

“It will really add nicely to what we have already with the trail system,” Proud said.

The project will be funded by the organization’s budget.

After the request was approved, Proud said Selge Construction will begin work on the trail today.

Since the project will be done around a well that provides water to city residents, Hagey asked Marx to check with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment to see if any permits are needed before construction.