The Branch County Public Works Council has recommended that Branch County Commissioners approve an engineering contract to improve the Ovid-Kinderhook sewer system.

He will also solicit new offers to lease the plant’s lagoons for waterfowl hunting. The current three-year hunting lease, designed to help keep the sewage ponds functioning, will expire this year.

Fleis and Vanderbrink provided the low bid for design engineering through construction completion at $ 441,000. Battle Creek CEI was the only other bidder at $ 499,472. Both have previously provided services to the Drainage Commission / Department of Public Works.

Fleis and Vanderbrink completed the $ 300,000 stormwater, asset management and wastewater or SAW grant last year. He called for improvements to the system with the clean-up and reconstruction of the impoundment lagoons at the plant off South Angola Road, north of Kinderhook.

Drain commissioner / director of public works Mike Hard had been slow to secure bids for engineering to meet county requirements.

The $ 4 million project estimate was made last year before construction prices rose.

Chairman of the board, Jeff Kelley, urged the county to move forward with funding the project because “I’m concerned that money markets are moving quickly” as the Federal Reserve considers raising rates. interest.

The public works department is in good financial shape, Kelley said, after building up reserves. The council increased sewer rates for 1,600 customers by $ 3 per month effective July 1 to fund revenue obligations for the work.

The council has leased the right to hunt geese and ducks on the settling lagoons for the past three years at $ 2,000 per year.

The rental first started because the waterfowl feces were causing problems with the runoff of the lagoon plants. The operations returned to normal after the authorization of the hunters on the lagoons.

Under the lease to tender the septem. 27, up to four hunters may hunt large lagoons following state and federal hunting regulations.

The six week deadline for engineering bids may delay the construction schedule. The public works council had planned to start work by next summer.

The preliminary and final design of the first phase was to be completed in December. State clearance could continue during this period to be completed by February 2022.

Bids would be submitted by April 2022, with construction scheduled to take place between May 2022 and July 2023. Final completion is expected by August 2023.

The Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy began a review of the plant’s system and operation after a change of inspectors.

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