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Grant discusses new sample well, tests at old township dump

Grant Township board members agreed Tuesday evening to get estimates to test residential wells that might be affected by pollutants from the Grant Township Dump site, which has been closed since December 31, 1989.

Supervisor Dan Dysinger said the direction of the flow of pollution from the old landfill is southwest and between five and ten residential wells in this direction should be tested for VOC (volatile organic compounds) and metals. He said the wells were last tested in 2000. He estimated the testing costs at “around $3,000.”

Supervisor Dan Dysinger outlined another proposal as well – a 105 foot test well which would monitor each ten feet of depth to “find the top of the confining layer (of pollutants).”

Dysinger said the proposal from AMEC Environmental & Infrastructure of Brighton would cost an estimated $19,835.00 and take three days: for professional services, a drilling contractor, laboratory and supplies.

There are now six groundwater monitoring wells on the site that were drilled in 2008. Samples would be taken from those wells as well as the new deeper one, for testing called “Vertical Aquifer profile Sampling.” In their February 7 proposal, AMEC said, “Groundwater quality in the deeper zones of the aquifer has not been evaluated.” They recommended the deeper testing “at the down gradient edge of the former dump.”

The old landfill is located on 160 acres – Section 18 at the corner of Harrison and Surrey Roads. It was in use since 1952 and the township bought the property in 1969, Dysinger said.

He told the board, “We don’t have issues [with the landfill].” He added that additional testing could improve the Department of Environmental Quality’s status of the polluted site.

Dysinger said the board will consider both proposals, residential well tests and the monitoring well, in March during the budget process. “We had already budgeted $7,500 this year for testing at the old landfill,” Dysinger said.

Money was discussed several times at the Grant Township Board meeting Tuesday evening. Clare County Road Commissioner Dick Haynak reported on the lack of funds for the county roads, stressing that, once again, the CCRC will try just to maintain the roads. He said several townships are contributing funds to help the Road Commission fund roadwork. Dysinger said the board would be discussing that in the budget process.

State Representative Joel Johnson was also at the meeting to talk about funding at the State level and some of the figures coming out of Lansing as well as current proposals he does – and does not support.

County Commissioner Leonard Strouse also outlined budget concerns on the county level.

With expenses up and the economy not recovering well, Dysinger said he recommended the board not approve a cost of living increase this year. Board members agreed to leave their compensation at the same level for the coming year.

Other business at the township meeting included:

*A report from Merle Harmon on a 2.3 percent increase in costs from Lincoln Sanitation and a recycling summary.

*Discussion on converting, or not converting the township siren located at the old landfill to a narrow band. To keep using the siren, the change must be done by the end of the year, but since it is located in a sparsely populated area, board members are considering just not using it anymore.

*Setting budget workshops for March 20th and 27th at 7 p.m. and the annual meeting on April 10 at 7 p.m.

*Approved monthly bills totaling $14,064.70.

The next regular meeting will be March 13.