Water, sewer project expected to be under budget

REED CITY – The $1.7 million project to upgrade water and serwer lines in Reed City is projected to finish under budget.

Tom Bihlmeyer, of Wade Trim, the company completing the project in the city, reported around $150,000 may be left in the project's contingency fund when the project is completed in the near future.

"Any place that we've found a need for extra sidewalk, we've added it (using the contingency fund), but it looks like we're going to have some left," Bihlmeyer told the council.

The project began in June and included the replacement of water lines beneath portions of six city streets. Bihlmeyer reported the pipe installation has been completed and he expects the project to be finished on Nov. 3.

"We're in very good shape time wise and money wise," Bihlmeyer said.

He plans to have the actual figures ready for the December council meeting,when the council can decide what to do with the remaining money in the fund.

The council also approved a lease for space on the city's water tower for broadband company Agri-Valley to place equipment. Agri-Valley is a new internet service provider currently in the process of installing equipment on towers north of Gratiot County, to offer a 4-G wireless broadband internet service across the state.

"Our hope is that we reach a lot of areas that in the past have not had broadband available to them," said Barbara Tyner, representative from Agri-Valley.

The company already has sites in Manistee, Midland, Frankfurt and Farwell and is looking into sites in Mackinac City and Rogers City.

Tyner said the company plans to have their service live around March of 2013.

The board also discussed a need for a crossing guard to guide students crossing Chestnut Street on Lincoln Avenue after school lets out.

After the school crossing guard position was cut out of the Reed City Area Public School's budget to save funds, Reed City Police Chief Chuck Davis said the safety of students has been his utmost concern.

After the topic was brought up by councilman Phil Rathubun at Monday's meeting, Davis told the council that many options have been considered, but nothing has been implemented due to lack of funds and the inability to guarantee an officer could be at the crosswalk every day.

"The suggestion has been brought up to use a liason officer," said Reed City Police Cheif Chuck Davis. "I've even thought about us doing it, but the point is that we can't guarantee (being there) every single day. We have to be careful because if we provide it, we have to stick with it."

With less students using the crossing than in the past, and Chestnut Street now being a three-land road, instead of a four-lane road, Davis said, though safety of students still is a priority for the department, the crossing poses less of a safety concern than is has in the past.

In other business, the council:

  • Set city trick-or-treat dates for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 31;
  • Accepted a $2,820 bid from Michigan Decorations for Christmas decorations for the city's downtown;

The next meeting of the council will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Reed City hall.