OWOSSO CITY MANAGER NATHAN HENNE officially sat with council for the first time during the Monday, April 2 meeting in council chambers.

   Henne was sworn-in on Wednesday, March 28. He is shown (far left) beside council members Elaine Greenway and Burton Fox. Henne shared the city manager report with council during the evening meeting.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

 

by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

On Monday, April 2, the Owosso City Council unanimously approved going ahead with a $1 million Pilot Drinking Water Community Water Supply grant, designating Owosso Public Services & Utilities Director Glenn Chinavare to submit the application to the MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Equality). Council members also voted to waive the traditional bidding requirements to expedite the process, by authorizing a professional services contract with OHM (Orchard, Hiltz, and McCliment, Inc.) of Livonia, in the amount of $198,600, depending on the acceptance of the grant. Chinavare shared with council that if the grant is accepted, the city only has “12 months to make it work,” so timing is critical. The grant will replace outdated or possibly hazardous service lines entering from the street into homes. Lead has never been detected within the city’s water supply, but contamination can occur at or near the point of entry into a home where old lines are still used.

Chinavare also made it clear to council that OHM will be paid through the grant funding, and Owosso residents will not have to face charges related to the service. It is possible the grant may be approved as early as May, though possibly later, with the goal of making as many residences federally compliant/safe as possible by replacing the existing lines with plastic pipes. Also, this grant does not require matching funds from the city, though that is often the case with other grants.

The 2018 Water Quality Report on the city of Owosso water system shows a lead contamination level of 6 parts per billion due to “corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits.” The same report suggests minimizing potential lead exposure by flushing your tap for at least 30 seconds before drinking/use. Concerned individuals can call the safe drinking water hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791 or visit water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead.

The 2017 Water Quality Report had displayed a much larger lead contamination level of 11 parts per billion. The EPA has an LCR (Lead and Copper Rule) that should not exceed 15 parts per billion for lead, or 1.3 parts per million for copper.

MDEQ had announced the availability of grant funding in mid-February, and an initial application was submitted to meet the deadline date of March 30. If the grant is approved, Owosso will then formulate a plan to help identify residences with old lead/galvanized water lines.

Other items of business discussed at the Monday evening city council meeting included the splitting of a lot at 516 Grover Street, the authorization to collect on unpaid utility charges, and the approval of resolutions to include Hathaway Drive, constructed in 2017, and a portion of Stewart Street (west of Chestnut Street) to the MDOT local street inventory.

Mayor Chris Eveleth offered a proclamation declaring April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. A public hearing included discussion regarding the special assessment related to street reconstruction for Howard Street, from Washington Street to just east of Park Street.

Shiawassee County Commissioner Dan McMaster also discussed a meeting held at Ovid-Elsie High School on Tuesday, March 27 to receive further input on wind turbines. He shared that a similar meeting is planned for early May that might possibly take place at Owosso High School. McMaster also offered an update on the deteriorating county jail that has been found to have both asbestos and black mold.

The next city council meeting is planned for Monday, April 16 in council chambers.

 

Owosso Seeks $1 Million Grant for Water Service Line Replacements was last modified: April 9th, 2018 by Karen Elford