By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
BENTON TOWNSHIP — As part of Benton Township’s sewer replacement project, trustees approved $24,900 in engineering costs to replace the Crystal Avenue and Broadway lift stations.
The cost includes the preparation of construction plans, the topographical survey, permitting with the Michigan Department of Environmental Equality and the bidding of the project.
Public Works Supervisor Andrew Jordan told trustees Tuesday the existing stations will be replaced by new submersible lift stations.
“The new submersible lift station pumps are in the water,” Jordan said. “The old stations required workers to climb down a ladder to work in them. With the new ones, we do everything from above ground. It’s a lot safer because you won’t be in a confined space.”
Jordan said in addition to the lift stations, the township will seek bids for standby generators to be put in each station in case the power goes out.
The reason the township is replacing the Crystal Avenue and Broadway lift stations are because of their ages. Installed in the late 1950s, Jordan said the bottom of the pumps are getting worn out.
“These lift stations don’t usually last this long,” Jordan said. “The township has taken good care of them and have gotten a lot of life out of them.”
Jordan said the lift stations are extremely important because if they were to not function properly, the sewer would back up into basements.
The project is being handled by Midwest Civil Engineers, a South Haven company that specializes in municipal water, sanitary sewer systems and storm drain systems.
Superintendent Elden Piontek said money for these sewer replacements would come from the township’s sewer fund.
“We sold some bonds, and the other project came in under budget,” Piontek said. “These (lift stations) were not planned, but we came in under budget. That’s unusual most of the time.”
The other project Piontek was referencing to was the sewer replacement project on Empire Avenue, Ogden Avenue and Ridgeway Street.
Jordan said the Ridgeway portion is complete, Empire Avenue is almost paved and on Ogden Avenue workers are still laying pipe.
The project will be designed and bid out this winter, with construction taking place in the spring.
In other business, the 2016 proposed budget hearing was set by trustees for Dec. 15. The budget will be available online for public inspection 10 days before the hearing.
Trustees granted Darrow Properties Inc. a liquor license to operate a microbrewery at 670 N. Shore Drive, which the building will be renovated and open in mid-2016.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 6, 2015)