2015-07-25 / News

DPW Talks Purchases, Progress, Repairs

By Madeline Ciak

Purchases, progress, and repairs were the main topics discussed during the city’s Board of Public Works meeting Thursday, July 9.

It was determined that the Mackinac Island water, sewer, and landfill operations were all in good financial standing after Rehmann Accounting Firm representative Mike Konicki presented a draft outlining each department’s financial statements. The draft not only outlined each department’s revenues and expenditures for May, but also compared the amounts and balances to data collected in 2014 to show each department’s change in percentages and in dollar amounts. The landfill showed a positive balance of $64,329.10, the sewer department showed a positive balance of $125,806.34, and the water department showed a positive balance of $109,706.31.

The account that saw the biggest percentage of change was the sewer construction account, which had a balance of $182,604.73 at the end of May. The account only had $151,917.79 in it last year, which adds up to a difference of $33,686.94 and is due to the system already being in place for this year.

The lower level reservoir at the water department had been leaking and was repaired during the third week of June.

Repair is needed at the main control panel of the power supply on Park Avenue in the Annex, said Bruce Zimmerman, public works director. The controls of the power supply and the cables connected to the power supply are antiquated and have not been updated since 1984. The project is estimated to cost just under $30,000.

“I’m looking at it as a safety issue,” said Mr. Zimmerman. The old, outdated wiring and control panel knobs are considered safety hazards because they could create a fire.

The board is in the process of purchasing a new septic tank cleaner to replace the older machine that they have been using. The machine costs between $16,000 and $17,000.

The need to purchase a new septic tank cleaner was brought to the board’s attention by Mr. Zimmerman. He had already begun researching prices and specifications of the machine, but needed the board’s approval before purchasing it, and the board approved his request to purchase the machine.

“I was just looking for a nod to bid it out,” he said.

The school will be advised by the department to buy heat tape to wrap around school sewer pipes, and of the need for digging and installing a new, deeper manhole near the school to prevent its sewer lines from freezing.

The DPW board is also seeking a partnership with the Emmet County recycling facility to maximize the Island’s recycling efforts to increase profits. The main objective is to work with a center that will take all plastics and sort them on their sites, instead of requiring the workers from the dray service to sort them, not just water bottles, milk jugs, and laundry detergent containers. Instead, the board would like to work with a facility that would take plastic items such as buckets, perishable dairy containers, and microwavable food containers. The board wants to find a facility that will offer a more cost effective system for collecting, shipping, and sorting on the mainland, as well as increasing profits for other items like newspaper, cardboard, tin, and glass.

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