NEGAUNEE - The Negaunee City Council has approved seven land acquisitions to allow for the wastewater transmission line that will connect the city to the Ishpeming Area Joint Wastewater Treatment Authority.
At its regular meeting Thursday, the council voted to approve the land acquisitions and easements from a variety of private landholders, which will allow the city to move forward on the transmission line project. Construction is planned for this year.
"We anticipate starting on the Ishpeming side and working backward," said City Manager Jeff Thornton.
The project is anticipated to be completed in 2012.
In other action regarding the transmission line, the council also voted to increase its contract with engineering firm AECOM by $160,000 for the design and construction portion of the project. Originally, the city had been anticipating the Army Corps of Engineers providing a portion of the engineering work, however, AECOM ended up doing the engineering for the entire project.
Scott Richards of AECOM, who was at the meeting, said the cost of the project would still be covered by the city bonds that were approved by voters in November.
"The current cost estimate is right on the button where we need to be for the construction budget," Richards said.
In other action, the council also voted to extend Thornton's contract as city manager from two years as originally negotiated to three years.
The council's negotiating committee had originally been authorized to negotiate a two-year contract, with permission to go up to three years if necessary.
"It'll make it for the lending institutions to be more favorable on his length of time for working.... This will be more for his benefit for buying a house, borrowing money," said Councilman Richard Wills, who made the motion to extend the contract. "A two-year contract, it's not quite as favorable as a three-year contract.... We should help him out as much as we can to find a place to live in the city."
Councilman Paul Maino seconded the motion.
A clause in the contract stipulates the agreement can be broken by either party with 90 days notice.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.