2013-09-19 / Front Page

City to foot bill for sewer

Crews discover pipe was never replaced

MANISTIQUE – The DIG project currently underway in downtown Manistique has hit a snag. The unexpected discovery of 100- year old storm sewer pipes has saddled the city with additional costs.

The Downtown Infrastructure Grant project began on Sept. 3, and involves the replacement of sanitary sewer, water main, and addition of sidewalk ramps for the section of Cedar Street between Oak and Walnut streets. Street paving will be completed and covered by grant as a result of the construction. The grant, accepted last year by Manistique City Council, is approximately $400,000.

On Wednesday, Manistique City Council held a special meeting to address the discovery of storm sewer pipes in desperate need of replacement. According to City Manager Sheila Aldrich, the city had been under the assumption that these pipes had been replaced in 1994, along with another project.

“The contractor came across the pipe, which had never been replaced since its installation around 100 years ago,” she said. “It’s still the original 24-inch cement storm sewer.”

Aldrich explained that the contractor, Team Elmer’s out of

Traverse City, Mich., found the storm sewer pipe had grout missing, was leaking, and crumbling as equipment moved near it.

“We decided to hold a meeting to approve the contractor to go ahead and replace the storm sewer – at an additional cost to us,” she said. “It makes no sense not to do it now.”

Council approved the additional $96,602.50 cost during their meeting, which includes the installation of storm sewer, catch basins and additional work at the intersection of Cedar and Walnut streets.

“We opted to extend the water and sanitary 50 feet more into Walnut going east and west, so when we do apply for another DIG grant, which we are, for Walnut, we won’t have to dig up Cedar again,” she said.

Aldrich said, as of Wednesday, the contractor had finished sanitary sewer, water, and service leads to the downtown businesses. This will leave the remainder of the Oct. 1 deadline for the storm sewer and extension work.

The funds for the work cannot be covered by the grant, Aldrich said, and will be taken from the Sewer Inflow and Infiltration and Major Street funds of the city budget.

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