These reverse osmosis filters are at the heart of the City of Allegan's water facility. The township has considered extending the water mains further outside the city limits to pair with an EPA project to get potable water to homes with contaminated wells. (File photo)

Allegan Township finds extending water lines beyond contamination may be too pricy

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Allegan Township Clerk Linda Evans said Monday the cost of including a water line extension to the M-89 Village East Mobile Home Park southeast of the former Allegan Metal Finishing Company has hit a snag.

“The M-89 Environmental Protection Agency water extension plans are done for the EPA portion and we’re now seeking costs for engineering a construction extension toward where the M-89 road grade begins,” said Linda Evans who chaired the meeting in supervisor Steve Shultz’s absence. “The EPA portion is basically for Jeffrey Drive (northwest of AMFCO), and originally we thought we might take it out to the township line but because of the road ascending it would cost the township $500,000 for a booster pump to get the water up there—so we are not going to do that.”

Evans said the township would be contacting the manager of the mobile home park to see if the park would cover a portion of the cost to make city water available to its residents.

Trustee Jim Connell said he felt strongly that engineering should be done to develop costs to extend past Jeffrey Road to the bottom of the grade.

“This is a good opportunity and the right thing to do,” he said. “We paid for the engineering to get the EPA to put the line in to Jeffrey and down 29th Street but since there is no chromium in the wells beyond Jeffrey Road, the EPA’s not interested in (funding) that portion so the decision to do that or not is based on what it costs and whether we can afford it.

“We won’t know that until we do the engineering for that portion.”

The township spent $70,000 to cover the cost of the engineering for the part of the project extending lines out along M-89 and south to the ends of 29th Street and Jeffrey Drive, which will be paid with an EPA grant. Funding extensions to the nearby mobile home park would not be included in the grant and Betten Baker Auto has also shown some interest in an extension of city water.

Levels of chromium that exceeded EPA limits for safe drinking and bathing were detected in wells of four residents after a fire destroyed Allegan Metal Finishing in March 2015.

Although the EPA is still investigating the source of the contamination, metal chromium is used mainly for making steel and other alloys. Chromium compounds are also used for chrome plating. The metal can be a carcinogen when inhaled or ingested.

 

Delano Street update

While Delano Street has been repaved, resident Mike Kiella  said he lives in the first house in the township west of the city limits and thanked the township for saving the trees that characterize the neighborhood. However, the end of his concrete driveway, which had a rolled curve, was replaced with asphalt tilting towards his driveway and was now causing flooding.

Unable to find a supervisor in charge of the project from the road commission, Kiella asked if the township had any ideas. Evans said he should attend the next road commission meeting in person and she was willing to accompany him.

 

36th Street blight/noise

Residents in the 2000 block of 36th Street said they are living a nightmare while a neighbor continues to violate blight and noise ordinances. Evans said tickets continue to be written for violations and the issue is now working its way through the court system.

 

Dangerous intersections

Resident Ed Wedge said he would like to be put on record saying the intersections  at 30th Street and 118th Avenue as well as River Street and 118th Avenue were dangerous. Treasurer Jane Waanders said a traffic study several years ago indicated there was not enough traffic to put signals or four-way stop signs at the intersections; however, with increased traffic since the study, another one may be due.

 

Querbach building update

Evans said although a blight remedy at the former Querbach  Cleaners building at 1531 Lincoln Road was moving slowly, owners met a July 31 deadline to secure what was left of the building.

“They got it done and the building looks very nice,” Evans said.

 

Truth in Taxation

After a public hearing received no comments on recapturing millage lost from the Headlee Rollback, the township voted for an increase of .0921 mills. The .0921 millage gain will recapture $12,712 for roads and fire equipment. Last year it was increased .0056 to recapture lost millage.

 

Fall cleanup

Saturday, Sept. 22, will be the township’s Fall Clean Up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Township residents will be able to drop off couches, chairs, up to four tires per household, computers, TVs, appliances, and hazardous waste.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at vransbottom@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.

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