NEGAUNEE - The city of Negaunee recently announced it had reached substantial completion on its project to build a wastewater transmission line to Ishpeming.
All of Negaunee's wastewater is now going to the Ishpeming Area Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility. On July 8, concrete was poured in the manhole used to bring the city's waste to its previous treatment facility - a gesture required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, but which also had symbolic meaning, City Manager Jeff Thornton told the Negaunee City Council at its July meeting.
"When we poured that concrete in that manhole, that was the point of no return," he said.
John Trynoski, an engineer for Marquette's AECOM, the city's engineering firm for the project, told the council at the meeting that "substantial completion" means a project can be used for its intended purpose.
"...The Ann Street lift station was started up and is now pumping into the Division Street lift station, which has been pumping over to Ishpeming since just before the 4th of July," Trynoski said. "So all the pipe and major components are in the ground. The system is functioning, working."
Thornton and Trynoski said all that remains now is surface-type restoration work - putting down gravel, paving and seeding along areas where Ishpeming contractor A. Lindberg & Sons put the pipe in the ground.
The $7.364 million project began in 2012 with funding help from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act distributed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA gave the city a grant for nearly $1.7 million and a loan, in the form of revenue bonds, for roughly $3.67 million.
The city council also approved the decommission, liquidation and disposal of the city's former treatment facility and its assets. Thornton said the city will repurpose and redistribute any equipment that can be used by other departments; sell on the market or trade for goods or services what other assets it can; and hold a silent auction, open to other wastewater treatment operators and related industries, for the remaining items.
Thornton said the quicker they could dispose of those assets, the better.
"What we need to do is dispose of what we got, shut our operation down and get rid of it, so we are no longer expending that money on that facility," he said. "Because we need to spend the money to pay our wastewater bill with Ishpeming."
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.