Clare a step closer to $1.5 million water improvements

August 9, 2019

By Pat Maurer

With approval of a United States Department of Agriculture resolution Monday, Clare is one step closer to much needed renovations to water system improvements.

The $1.503, 486.52 project, funded through a USDA loan for 40 years, will pay for three new Iron removal filters, the design, engineering, miscellaneous and management costs and, Hibl said, if enough funds are left, for a remote automatic SCADA monitoring system. The City’s engineers, Gourdie-Fraser, estimated the cost for the SCADA System at $95,000 and painting the interior of the building at an additional $35,000.

Tuesday Hibl said in a phone interview that the iron filter tanks have been ordered and are expected to arrive in late October or early November to begin the work on the project.

At the first February meeting, the City submitted two applications to the United States Department of Agriculture. The first, a project loan application, was for a loan to fund the critical system improvements at the City’s water plant and to drill a new public water well. The second, a project grant application, was for grant funding to drill two new wells for two that are located in the Environmental Protections Agency Super Fund Site.
The grant for the critical water system improvements was approved by the USDA in July.

At the earlier meeting, Hibl said, “The second grant was intended to replace our two public wells that lie within the Environmental Protection Agency’s Super Fund site.  We did not move forward with that grant application as we were advised by USDA staff that we likely would not be able to meet the qualification criteria (poverty).”

In another matter Monday evening, the Commission approved a grant application to the USDA for needed fire department equipment including a thermal imaging camera (replacing one that is ten years old), a gas detection meter system, a new thermal imaging camera and a turnout gear extractor and drying cabinet (a fire department commercial washer and dryer).

The gas detection device is necessary to detect potentially harmful gasses and let firefighters know when it is safe to remove air tanks. The turn-out gear washing and drying equipment will wash out harmful elements in turn out gear and eliminate firefighters having to don wet gear to fight fires. The department does not have a dryer for their gear and has to hang the gear to dry.

If approved, the USDA will cover 55 percent of the $35,499 cost of the equipment ($18,974.45). The remainder of the cost ($15,524.55) will come from the fire department’s fund.

During his City Manager’s Report, Hibl noted that “Woods Household Movie Nite will be on August 16th at the Tobacco Ranch.” Funds and food donations will benefit the Clare Backpack Program.

Other business at the meeting Monday included:
*The recognition of Josh Schuster for ten years as a full-time employee in the Department of Public Works with a framed resolution and stipend.

*The designation of Luke Potter as primary, and Sarah Schumacher as alternate voting delegate for the Michigan Employees Retirement System (MERS) annual conference in October. City Treasurer Steven Kingsbury was appointed as the management representative with City Clerk Diane Lyon as his alternate.

*Board and Committee re-appointments including: Tina Droomer to the Parks and Rec. Advisory Board; Shari Buccilli to the Clare Downtown Development Authority; Steve Letherer to the Clare LDFA; and Nyle Haggert, Mike Smith and Rod Leslie to the Airport Advisory Board.

*Approval of the payment of bills totaling $344,078.94.

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