By Pat Maurer
Clare City Commissioners approved the first payment to J.R. Heineman for work completed and equipment purchased on the $2.655 million capital improvement project upgrading the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The first invoice for $518,890 covers work and equipment purchased through October 15. Treasurer Steven Kingsbury said once the city approves an invoice, it is sent to the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development for their approval and payment to the city and then the city pays the contractor.
Kingsbury said the project’s final payment won’t be made until next year, but the work should be completed by December 31.
The project is funded through a 40 year loan from the USDA-Rural Development.
In his report City Manager Ken Hibl said $10,000 was added to the amount earmarked for sludge cleanup as part of the demolition project at the old treatment plant. Work had been stopped there when the contractor discovered not two feet of sludge to be removed as was expected, but approximately 10 feet. The matter was resolved with the additional $10,000 payment okayed on November 18, Hibl said.
He also said the USDA has requested at “media day” at the WWTP, which will be held December 6 in the early afternoon to explain the project.
Clare City voters will be using a new polling place beginning in February. The City Commission voted Monday evening to change the polling location from the Public Safety Building to the basement of the Pere Marquette District Library beginning with the February 28 Presidential Primary election.
“This will be a much better location,” Hibl said. “It’s more convenient for parking, is handicapped accessible and has better facilities for voters and better working conditions for polling officials.” He said it takes about three hours to set up and two hours to break down the current location, which would not be necessary at the new location.
Commissioners also approved the purchase of a one-ton Crew Cab Truck to be used for transportation and as a grass rig for the Clare Fire Department. Funds for the purchase, approximately $31,000, will come from the fire fund. Low bidder was Krapohl Ford at $26,744.82. The additional equipment including light bar, steps, lettering and bed liner will bring the cost to $30,844.82.
Other business at the Clare City meeting included:
*Approval of the 2012 Poverty Exemption Application and Income Levels.
*Notice that the Fire Council met November 16 to review fire protection agreements which expire December 31.
*The report that the city received a dividend of $5,863 from the Michigan Municipal League’s Worker’s Compensation Fund.
*Approval of bills totaling $59,230.42.