Costs Increase for Clare Water Plant Renovations

November 11, 2019

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

In a quiet meeting Monday evening, the Clare City Commission approved three items of new business.

The Commission approved a Peerless Midwest change order invoice for $10,000 to provide a temporary piping which will by-pass piping in the water treatment plant. The change will eliminate the rust that would have been present in the city’s water supply while waiting for the new iron filters to replace the old filters which were failing and taken off-line.

The change order increases the total contract price for the Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation Project to $1,313,396.00.

City Manager Ken Hibl said in his agenda report, “With the approval of the required Change Order #1 for our Wather Treatment Plant Rehabilitation Project, we committed all remaing funds of the $1.5 million bond for the project and have concurrently committed obligating the majority of our Water Fund reserves to ensure completion of this critical project.”

He continued, “While we currently have funds to pay the invoice associated with this change order, we will be required to develop an overall play to pay for future invoices associated with this project and concurrently determine how we will fund the replacement of lead and galvanized water service lines in the City.” Replacement of the four lead services is estimated at $80,000, Hibl said. “We hope to have that complete by the end of the year.”

Secondly The Commission adopted an updated Investment Policy for the City’s reserve and surplus funds. The funds were kept with Chemical Bank, which was the last local financial institution to offer repurchase agreements, which they will no longer offer.

Hibl explained that with the repurchase agreements, the City was not subject to the FDIC deposit account insurance limitation. He said, “Several years ago a new financial vehicle called a Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service or CEARS was developed to address the issue of insurance coverage Another form of CDARS is an Insured Cash Sweep which works in much the same manner as CDARS, it has the required FDIC insurance coverage, meets the requirements of PA 20 but does so on a daily funds management basis thereby maximizing invested funds.”

Another plus with the new program is an increased interest rate from one percent to 1.65 percent with all of the funds earning the high rate instead of only 50 percent of them with the current Municipal NOW account.

In a third matter, after a Public Hearing on the matter, the Commission approved Single Lot Assessments for maintenance costs on property that has not been paid. Four properties will be assessed and the unpaid amounts added to their property tax bills.

In his report to the commission, City Treasurer Steven Kingsbury reported that “The first quarter general fund is in marginally better condition.” He said the external audit was complete with no problems reported.

In his report, Hibl said that the oldest police vehicle, an Explorer, had been totaled due to a car/deer accident. He said the City’s insurance policy offered a $41,000 “reimbursement (nearly covering the cost of a new vehicle), rather than the actual value of the vehicle, which is much less. He said, I anticipate we will provide you with our formal recommendation (on a replacement vehicle) at the November 18th Commission meeting.

Other business at the meeting Monday included the approval of bills with a sub-total of $93,090.96.

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