by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Owosso Township Board is hoping to come to an agreement with township residents on the implementation of a $900,000 water main extension project, and Supervisor Danny Miller said recently that the board will unveil its latest plan to residents at a special meeting in the near future. Though the date of the meeting had not been finalized as of Thursday, Oct. 27, Miller said the group is shooting for a date in November. The project will provide city of Owosso water mains and service leads to Owosso Township homeowners whose wells have been contaminated by the nearby Shiawassee Sanitary Landfill.
The board compromised with township residents at its Oct. 10 meeting by agreeing that residents would not be required to hook up to city of Owosso water unless their wells become contaminated. Homeowners will not be charged for the infrastructure project, whether they choose to connect now or in the future, and the new ordinance should detail how often, and by whom, residents’ water will be monitored. Miller reports that 17 homes have tested positive for volatile organic compound contaminants so far.
The Shiawassee Sanitary Landfill PRP Group settled its lawsuit with the state of Michigan in 2015, agreeing to pay $1.04 million in damages for contributing to the contamination of the neighborhood surrounding the Shiawassee Sanitary Landfill. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality began investigating the 11-acre site in 1998 and charges were brought against the 14 local defendants in 2009 because they had dumped in the landfill between 1965 and 1972.
The group of defendants includes the city of Owosso, Woodard LLC, Owosso Public Schools, The Argus-Press, Maurer Heating and Cooling, the Shiawassee County Road Commission, the Shiawassee County Courthouse, Consumers Energy, Ford Motor Company, ConAgra Foods, Toledo Commutator, Magnatek, Johnson Controls, and Wolverine Sign Works.
Miller stressed that residents, many of whom were frustrated they did not have more input in planning the project, will be notified two weeks prior to the meeting, and that he hopes to see a full meeting room at the Owosso Township Hall, 410 S. Delaney Road.