Larry Campbell

Alpine Township unanimously passes sewer agreement

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Fourth township of five approves NKSA maintenance contract In a special meeting held 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, the Alpine Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve a contract to allow staff at the North Kent Sewer Authority (NKSA) to provide service and maintenance for the sewer system within the township. Board members in attendance were Supervisor Alex Arends, Clerk Jean Wahlfield, Treasurer Jim Townsend and trustees Ron Cordes, Jim May, Ted Wallace, and Bill Schweitzer. The motion to approve the contract was made by Schweitzer with support of Wallace to approve the Collection System Service agreement for the sewage disposal system. Arends commented on correspondence received from Mike Oezer (Progressive Engineering), the Alpine Township engineer, regarding competitive bids from Operations and Maintenance. In discussions with Bowne Township, he was quoted 60 to 80 dollars an hour for typical operations and maintenance. Township Attorney Jeff Sluggett (Bloom, Sluggett, Morgan) raised questions in earlier correspondence, and NKSA Attorney Jim Scales addressed them. Discussion was centered about costs and, based on the numbers available, NKSA will have a lower hourly rate than Bowne. Studies to date show the rate will also be lower than the current DPW rates and will be cheaper than a private contractor rate. The board believed that at this time the logical thing to do was sign the agreement. NKSA Director Larry Campbell provided a draft Work Plan to Arends last week. The Work Plan is due by August 1, 2012. “There is a changing philosophy taking place with the transition from DPW to NKSA. The members will each work with their own budgets; the input from Alpine will determine scheduled cleaning and maintenance,” Campbell said. The changes are different from Kent County DPW based on past history. In comparing the “old” way to the “new” way, Alpine can determine its needs. Campbell commented that Alpine has 42 miles of sewer lines. The goal of the Work Plan is to prevent backups, reduce I/I (inflow and infiltration), introduce a five-year cleaning cycle, and continue with routine maintenance. Once the Board adopts the August 1, 2012 Work Plan, then NKSA has until October 1 to implement the plan.  (DPW turns the system over to NKSA on October 1, 2012.) The final work […]

Plainfield Township latest to pass Sewer Authority agreement

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Only clerk votes no on cost-sharing plan by BETH ALTENA Larry Campbell, director of the PARCCside Wastewater Treatment plant, estimates that Plainfield Township’s portion of the cost of maintaining sewer structure with plant staff will be roughly $450,000 annually. He compared his estimate to the township’s cost when Kent County Department of Public Works held the contract—a job they are no longer willing to do. Campbell said in 2009 the bill for the township was over a million dollars. In 2010 it was $824,000; in 2011 the county charged Plainfield $829,000 and to date this year the bill is at $569,000. He spoke before the Plainfield Township Board Monday, July 16, prior to the board’s vote on whether to approve a cost-sharing agreement with the North Kent Sewer Authority (NKSA). There are many variables that could affect the cost to Plainfield Township for their portion of infrastructure (pipes, lift stations, cleaning, joint and shared portions) of the sewer collection system that routes wastewater to the PARCCside plant on Coit Avenue in Grand Rapids. The NKSA is a joint entity formed by five member communities—the City of Rockford and the townships of Alpine, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield. The maintenance on the sewer collection lines has been maintained by Kent County Department of Public Works, which had a contract that is now expired and that the county has been unwilling to reenter. According to Gary Seger, utility services superintendent for the county, who spoke before the board at the last regular meeting, Kent County is dissolving his department and letting go his staff of nine people. One of his former employees has already been hired by NKSA and Seger himself will be joining the staff at PARCCside when his job with the county ends. The NKSA will begin maintaining the sewer lines October 1 of this year. Member communities have been provided a cost-sharing agreement to either approve or decline. Prior to the July 16 vote by Plainfield, Cannon Township and the City of Rockford had already unanimously approved the agreement, which they believe will cut costs considerably compared to the county doing the work. “When I started looking at my numbers, what I came up with is $450,000,” said Campbell to the board. Campbell said variables […]