Kingsford eyes $13.5M sewer project

KINGSFORD — A final project plan for wastewater and stormwater improvements in parts of Ford Addition and the Breitung area of Kingsford have a green light from the city council.

The plan, presented to the council Monday by Ryan Morgan of by GEI Consultants of Iron Mountain, has an estimated cost of $13.5 million. City Manager Mike Stelmaszek was named the authorized project representative.

The project is expected to start in a few years and tie into a Heights/Ford Addition project expected to be completed in 2025 and 2026.

Under the proposed project, a lift station on Bancroft Street and one on Saratoga Street would be abandoned. Morgan said they were installed in 1959, rehabilitated in 1987 and are near the end of their usefulness.

Also, many of the manholes in the area are of brick construction and are falling apart. Some of them have had further deterioration since being tagged for replacement.

The sanitary sewer main is old and in need of replacement and several areas have combined sanitary sewer and stormwater, Morgan said. The plan would separate sewer and storm systems.

Abandoning the lift stations would save the city the cost of replacement and having to maintain the two facilities, Morgan indicated.

They would be replaced by approximately 3,000 feet of gravity main, which would reduce operating and maintenance costs and improve reliability.

There is approximately 5,700 feet of separation work planned in the Ford Addition location and 2,500 feet planned in south Kingsford, or Breitung. Separating the sanitary and storm systems would reduce the flow of water to the sanitary sewer collection and treatment system.

Estimated costs include $2.2 million for proper removal/abandonment of existing lift stations and directionally bored gravity piping; $4.3 million for Ford Addition separation and $3.6 million for the south Kingsford separation; construction contingency of $1.5 million; and an additional $1.9 million for engineering, administration costs and legal fees.

The project is expected to increase sewer rates to city residents. With loan financing, costs could increase as much as $22.47 monthly for a 20-year loan or $17.30 for a 30-year loan.

With half loan and half grant financing, the estimated cost per user could increase as much $11.24 a month with a 20-year loan or $8.65 with a 30-year payback.

This is based on 3,211 residential equivalent units. The city could save some money on sewer bills if it qualifies for overburdened status, Stelmaszek said.

The city could decide to take no action, but the sanitary system will continue to age and deteriorate. The size of the problems and the cost will increase with time, Morgan said in his presentation.

He said steps can be taken to help with short-term negative impacts such as construction sequencing/staging to maintain access; using a water truck to cut down on dust; working during certain hours to minimize noise; turf and site restoration; traffic detours; and use of silt fence and straw bales to reduce soil erosion.


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