Marysville to end sewage agreement with Port Huron

By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald

The sanitary sewer service agreement between Marysville and Port Huron will officially come to an end Monday.

Bari Wrubel, Marysville wastewater operations supervisor, said a resolution to end the agreement is on the Marysville City Council’s agenda because the city completed its installation of a new pump station that will direct sanitary movement.

“We are redirecting the flow that was going to Port Huron to our own wastewater plant through the new pump station we just built,” he said. “The line was already bypassed and plugged up at the end of February. Now it’s just a formality of paperwork to go through.”

The pump station cost $600,000 to construct with wastewater reserve money at the corner of Ravenswood Road and Gratiot Boulevard.

Wrubel said the city was billed $60,000 to $80,000 a year by Port Huron. Wrubel expects a nine-year buy back with these savings.

“It’s like renting a car and now you have bought one for yourself and no longer have to pay to drive,” he said. “We don’t have to pay that fee anymore to Port Huron. Once the project is paid off it will basically be a gain.”

Marysville broke ground on the pump station in July and finished construction in February.

The project also included rebuilding one of the older pump stations and the two generators for those stations. The old pump station that was rebuilt, is a half mile south of the new one.

The overall project was just over $1 million.

Mayor Dan Damman said city officials began talking about constructing a new pump station three or four years ago in an attempt to wrangle in some of the city’s spending.

“We were sending Port Huron anywhere between $15,000 and $19,000 per quarter,” Damman said. “This project allowed the city to become completely independent. This extra source of revenue will come into play when we look into additional maintenance to our infrastructure.”

The contract between the two cities was created in 2000 with end date in mind. If either party wanted to opt out of the agreement they would go by its notification procedure.

Wrubel said the two municipalities have been in discussion for about a year about ending the contract before construction began on the new pump station.

“It was a pretty big project and to know that bill is not coming in every quarter feels good,” Wrubel said. “There’s no bad blood, it’s all about saving money and being smart with it.”

City Engineer Bob Clegg said the agreement will have little impact on Port Huron’s sewer fund.

Port Huron had a sewer fund of $10.4 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Clegg said the cities entered into an agreement because officials had discovered a small portion of Marysville’s discharge was moving through Port Huron’s sanitary system.

“We also learned that the city was not billing them for that service and entered into an agreement to bill them,” he said. “Now that the flow changed hands, we need to have our respective elected bodies agree that the agreement no longer exists.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 989-6270 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on April 12, 2015)

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