IRON RIVER TOWNSHIP—Jeff Bal, GEI Consultants’ engineer, updated the Iron River Township Board regarding its many ongoing and proposed projects at the board’s Sept. 11 meeting.
Regarding the Rural Development water line replacement project, which was recently started, Bal said 4 percent of the project is done, with 2,500 feet of pipe put in the ground and 25 percent of the approximately 10,000 feet of underground boring completed
The first pay request for the project was approved for $115,000.
The board also approved the acceptance of a 50/50 wellhead protection grant of up to $11,250, which will cover engineering, delineation, signage, public education and ordinance writing.
The Wellhead Protection Program will assist the township in its efforts to protect its underground water supply by minimizing the risk of potential contaminants.
Acceptance of the grant was approved by a 5-0 vote.
GEI was awarded the forthcoming Township Hall improvement project with the low bid of $5,270.
The architectural bids were opened at a special meeting Aug. 28, with GEI beating out Integrated Design Inc. and Sanders & Czapski Associates.
Bal said that since the special meeting, a study has been under way, and he expects to have some preliminary findings in late September.
Bal has also been working on the township’s appeal for $300,000 from a DNR Trust Fund Grant, which was applied for in April.
Bal responded to a request for supplemental information, which will bring in additional points for the township, enhancing its chances of getting the grant. Final scoring and ranking for all grant applicants is expected in November.
“The same scenario goes for a Passport Grant for $45,000,” Bal explained to the board.
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Grant applications for assistance with updating the township’s sewer lift stations are due in the next four to six weeks, Bal told the board.
He added that by working together with the city of Iron River and possibly sharing infrastructure, the township increases its chances of acquiring a grant for the $252,000 project.
The total project cost includes repairs to the Dobson lift station, which is in dire need of repair before winter.
The board voted to immediately replace the Dobson sewer lift station motor, slide rails and pump but to keep the current control panel.
The panel can be replaced at the time of the full lift station project, allowing it to be compatible with the remaining lift stations.
Board members plan to meet with neighboring municipalities to get their take on the SCADA system which would monitor the townships sewer and water systems.
Campbell Road and Old Beechwood Road prevailed on the township’s list of proposed upcoming road projects.
At the meeting, Supervisor Mark Polley explained the plans, which had been previously discussed at an Aug. 21 special meeting, designated for road projects and millage requests.
After comments and concerns from the public were heard, and prices were gone over, the board decided it would like to see Old Beechwood Road blacktopped, at an estimated cost of $210,000 for one and one quarter of a mile and a quarter of a mile of Campbell Road, with prices coming in at $40,000 for double seal and $48,000 for blacktop.
Other roads proposed by residents included North Angeli Road and Lynx Lane, which may be looked at, depending on whether or not the upcoming road and operational millages go through.
With the current road millage set to expire in December of this year, the November ballot will include the request to renew the road millage for one mill for three years.
The operational millage will also be on the November ballot, requesting two mills for three years.
A special meeting will be held immediately prior to the regular October meeting to discuss the operational millage and why it is needed.
The board encouraged those with questions to call or send in letters ahead of time, so that answers can be given at the meeting.
The Merit Network fiber optic line installation project, denied by the township due to its interference with the water project, was discussed.
According to Township Attorney Steve Polich, the township correctly denied access to the company because of the added expense of line crossings in the project, estimated at $50,000 to $100,000.
Despite this, Merit was found working on township property, within the water project area, without a permit. Polich contacted the State Metro Board and notified the company, which claimed to be unaware of the lack of a permit.
Polich is waiting to hear back from the company, noting that an injunction would be costly.
Polich also answered a question for a Gibbs City Road property owner who must pay a $1,200 tap in fee and have a shut off valve on his own property at the site of an old structure, not currently included on the water customer list.
This is according to a new water ordinance, adopted in February.
A Mattson Road resident’s request to build a garage on the corner of his property was denied, as the township water line runs through the land in question.
The township’s offer to purchase a U.S. 2 property owner’s lot, near the Nash Well and aquifer, was rejected by the owner, according to Polich.
In his supervisor’s report, Polley shared the events of a recent Department of Corrections meeting at the prison in Marinesco.
He was told by officials that although the state has listed the Camp Ottawa site as excess property, he was assured that heat, lights and security will be maintained on the site.
Polley said he asked corrections officials to put the promise in writing. Another meeting regarding the prison camp is being scheduled with a representative from the governor’s office to be present.
Township resident Casey Rose was appointed to the Planning Commission, which holds its next meeting on Sept. 26.
According to Planning Commission member Rich Nieminen, the group is still in need of one more member.
The board held a public hearing preceding the regular meeting, regarding the township’s master plan.
The plan had previously been reviewed by board members and had been available to the public.
The master plan was adopted and will be reviewed annually. Copies are available at the Township Hall for anyone interested.
The board also approved its annual $500 contribution to the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team for services provided to the township in narcotics enforcement and education.
A propane bid of $1.28 per gallon was accepted from Krist Oil Co. for the 2012-2013 heating season, coming in much lower than last year’s price.
The next regular meeting of the Iron River Township Board is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m., with the special meeting regarding the millage requests to take place at 5:30.
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