Benton Township trustees approve water system upgrade plan

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — In Benton Township, there are miles of water lines that need the occasional maintenance.

To help keep these lines up to date, the township’s Board of Trustees approved its water system capital improvement plan Tuesday night.

Public water systems in Michigan are required to have a capital improvement plan that identifies needs for five- and 20-year planning periods to guide long-term capital improvement project planning.

Water Plant Supervisor Kyle Tryan said Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality demands each municipality has a plan made.

“It’s a guide to make sure we are aware of what the water system needs and what priorities it has,” Tryan said. “These are the recommended updates. None of them are written in stone, but eventually all of these items will need to be addressed.”

Improvements in the plan range from asset improvements, repairs, replacements and long-term upgrades to major components of the existing system. Expansion of the system to serve additional customers or areas was not included in the plan.

Trustee Calli Berg said the total cost for these projects over the course of 20 years is about $2.4 million.

Out of the 14 potential projects on the list, one is in the process of being completed.

The installation of a water main from the north end of Higman Park Hill No. 2 to Sylvan and Fort roads was approved by trustees in November. Work includes improving service pressures, fire flows and the elimination of dead ends in the water system.

Work on Higman Park Hill No. 2 is scheduled to be completed within the year.

The list was created in collaboration by Tryan, Water Distribution Supervisor Mike Baldwin and Merritt Engineering Inc. – a consulting firm in Stevensville.

Tryan said each item would need to come before the board for approval when the time comes for them to be addressed.

Deadline for submitting the capital improvement plan to the state was Jan. 1.

This water system capital improvement plan comes on the heels of a $1.5 million sewer rehabilitation project, which included work on more than 2 miles of sewer lines.

Supervisor Kevin White was not present for Tuesday’s meeting. The next township trustees meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the township Municipal Building.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 6, 2016)

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