Clare’s Water Woes Continue

October 28, 2019

By Pat Maurer

Another potential problem, this time minor, for Clare’s water system users was discussed at the Clare City meeting Monday evening.

Hibl reported that the City’s iron removal filters were failing and would have to be by passed for a number of days until the new filters for the system arrive and can be installed.

In the draft of a letter to the City’s water customers, City Manager Ken Hibl wrote, “The City is in the process of a major rehabilitation project to replace the iron removal filters at our water treatment plant.”

In an email Tuesday, Hibl added, “The pump-bypass being performed by Peerless-Midwest in conjunction with the City’s water treatment plant rehabilitation project is a mandatory process linked to the removal and replacement of our nearly 60-year old, failing iron removal filters.  During the pump by-pass process, iron removal from our water will cease to occur until the by-pass procedure is completed – likely between four to six days.  The water will remain safe to drink, bathe in, and use for cooking during this entire time – it may simply be discolored.  So the major precaution is using the water to launder white, light-colored, and delicate clothing items as the discoloration may cause permanent damage to those items.”

The iron in the water may be minimized if the City decides to use a solution proposed after the regular meeting by Engineers Gourdie-Fraser and Contractor Peerless Midwest. However the solution has a price tag of $10,000, Hibl said. A demonstration of how the process will work was scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Water Treatment Plant before the City makes a decision on whether it will be implemented. 

During his Treasurer’s report, Steve Kingsbury reported that the City has received at $46,210 Rural Development grant for technology. Actual cost of the technology is $81,000 with the grant paying 53.8 percent of the costs.

The Commission also held a public hearing in anticipation of a United States Department of Agriculture Grant for the purchase of a turn-our gear extractor and drying cabinet and a thermal imaging camera for the Fire Department. The Commission approved submitting the USDA grant application at an earlier meeting. The public hearing is required by the USDA. If the grant is approved, Fire Department funds will pay 45 percent or $13,692 of the total cost of $30,392 for the equipment. The funds are in the 2019-20 budget.

In his agenda report Hibl provided a list of the donations to and fundraisers for the City’s new recreation complex. He said the Operator’s Union will design and construct at no cost to the City, a donor board to identify and recognize all the individuals and businesses that have contributed to the development of the complex.

Other contributions he listed included $6,000 raised by the Youth Soccer Programs’ annual raffle; a skateboard park bench constructed by Sharpco Industries and paid for through donations to recognize donors to the skateboard park; an offer from a local resident to fund and construct a 1,200 square foot storage building to house storage, an office and possibly a warming room for a future skating rink at the park; $58,000 in funds raised towards a $117,000 total cost for new playground equipment at Emerald Isle. A Recreation Passport grant, if approved would allow that construction next year; and an offer from Clare Rotary to construct a new pavilion at the complex next year.

Other business at the City Commission meeting included:
*Approval of a change order requested by Peerless Midwest totaling $152,415.00. Since the remaining bond proceeds are only $78,133.48, the remainder of the change order, a balance of $74,284.52 will be paid with water fund reserves. The change order will pay for new piping/plumbing for the new iron removal filters, painting the interior of the water treatment plant new plumbing and iron removal filters, essential to the water treatment plant improvements.
*Approval of invoice number one to Peerless Midwest, the payment totaling $155,963.70.
*Hibl also mentioned that the 21st annual Chili Cook Off will be held Saturday starting at 3 p.m. Entrants are asked to be there at 2:30 to check in their chili with the free family event beginning at 3 p.m.

*The Commission approved bills totaling $150,846.02.

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