Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 24, 2014

City receives $2 million sewer grant

TRAVERSE CITY — Fife Lake and Traverse City won a state lottery worth over $2.6 million in grants to assess, map and prepare a plan of improvement for stormwater and sanitary sewer collection systems.

State officials awarded $97 million in their first round of Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Program grants, and Traverse City was among eight communities out of 673 qualifying applicants to receive the full $2 million maximum award.

The Fife Lake Area Utility Authority won a $651,643 grant to assess its sewage collection system and 30-year-old treatment plant. Grants were awarded through a lottery system, but officials in both communities believe the quality of their applications

played a role.

“We’re not only good, we’re lucky,” said Dave Green, Traverse City’s director of public works. “We are finally going to be able to get all of our underground pipes identified as to size, shape, and condition. It’s going to be pretty intense for the city, but it’s going to be worth it.”

The grant will allow city officials to pay contractors about $1 million to videotape the insides of about 70 miles of stormwater and sanitary sewer lines that are at least 20 years old. Cameras also will electronically map the exact location and depth of the lines while recording and evaluating conditions.

Inspections will include everything from searching for signs of contamination along the Boardman Lake shoreline to cutting open the city’s largest pressurized sewer mains to measure pipe thickness.

Officials will enter all the information they glean into new computer databases and combine those results with existing inventories of road conditions, sidewalks, and even trees planted in the city right of way.

“All of that stuff needs to be analyzed and have a plan for its replacement, because even the trees on the street don’t last forever,” Green said.

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