By Pat Maurer
Funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) Grant could go a lot further in the Ann Arbor Trail Project this summer.
Last September the city accepted a check for $509,039 in grant funds for the estimated $600,000 to upgrade just three blocks of City water mains on Ann Arbor Trail this year.
The project included replacing old water mains with new, larger supply lines, and complete reconstruction of the three blocks from Sixth Street to Wheaton.
The City may be able to choose one of the eight bids for the project that came in at $224,622, less than half of the total engineer estimate for the project ($500,000).
In his City Manager’s report at the City Commission meeting Monday evening, Ken Hibl said, GFA (Gourdie Fraser Associates) is in the process of reviewing all bids to ensure the bids meet specifications. We intend to present the bids for Commission consideration and approval at the May 1st meeting.” He said GFA will “query MEDC to determine whether we can extend the scope of the project to utilize the entire amount of the approximate $500,000 grant for the $600,000 project amount. If we are able to do this, we will have an opportunity to ‘jump start’ our street projects this summer in a major way.”
He said the City would be able to do farther down Ann Arbor Trail and part of John R with the additional funds from the 80-20 grant.
Hibl also reported in his report to the Commission that an amendment to the Façade Grant [funding historical renovation of the building fronts in downtown Clare] has been requested for the Venue and that the City intends to submit a similar request for Four Leaf Brewing. “We will [also] request a one-year extension for the façade grant for Brewin on McEwan due to the recent change in management,” he said, adding that “MEDC representatives are scheduled to be in Clare April 20th to meet with three downtown business owners to discuss potential future facade and rental rehabilitation grants.”
Plans for this year also include some Water Plant renovations, Treasurer Steven Kingsbury added in his report to the board.
The first step in that direction is purchase of some new equipment that will ensure continuous proper water pressure in the entire system. The Commission approved the purchase of a sole source purchase of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) which would be integrated and synchronized with the City’s SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.
In his agenda report Hibl said that traditionally the City has rented a VFD, but that because of the increase in the City’s water system the need for the VFDs are increasing. He said the device could be purchased for about the cost to rent one four times.
He added that a purchase from the SCADA vendor would ensure that the new equipment would be compatible.
The Commission approved that purchase and another sole-source purchase of a Flygt pump at $9,335.00. The lift station pump is the second one purchased through Kennedy Industries, and no problems with clogging have happened with the equipment. It is guaranteed not to clog, Hibl said, and is only available from Kennedy Industries. “The City’s Water and Wastewater Department spends an inordinate amount of time (resources) in removing solid materials (disposable diapers, sanitary napkins etc.) from clogged lift pumps,” Hibl said. The first Flygt pump, purchased about two years ago, has never clogged. “We will be asking for another one in the future,” he said.
In other business Monday, the Commission:
*Approved changes to the 401(A) and 457 (B) voluntary retirement plans to The Standard from Security Benefit. Tim Rozelle, the City’s agent representing Retirement Plan Advisors recommended the change which has access to thousands of funds. RPA will continue to provide a constant review of the City’s funds.
*Approved the sale of a 1998 GMC ¾ ton pickup to high bidder Dorothy Davis for $2,007.
*Approved a property lease with Donald and/or Andrew Nevill who recently purchased the Lot 207 hangar at the Clare Municipal Airport from Mr. Mapes.
*Approved an expanded liquor license for Tracy Bolle, owner of the Evening Post because of his recent addition. The City’s approval is required before the Liquor Control Commission before they will consider issuing a new license.
*Approved bills totaling $161,368.41.