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More school district funds spent on wastewater treatment plant



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April 18, 2012 - Brandon Twp.- The school district's septic issues have been ongoing for years and during their April 16 meeting, the board approved $74,000 to be spent on updates to the district's wastewater treatment plant.

The necessary electrical and control updates are a temporary fix, required by the state to keep the district in compliance with state regulations. Without the updates, the district could incur thousands of dollars in fines on a daily basis.

"We have the same problems we've always had, keeping the flow consistent, keeping everything operating so that bacteria in the water tests at appropriate levels," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "We're one of the DEQ's best customers."

The Department of Environmetal Quality tests the district's water regularly because of the problems at the plant. The district does not have enough room to build a new wastewater treatment plant or for a new engineered septic field.

C&C Instrumentation and Controls, Inc. of Pinckney will start work immediately on the updates and will finish by late July. Now that the work is in motion, the DEQ will not fine the district. The updates will be paid for from among $800,000 of leftover money from the $73.4 million bond extension approved by voters in 2006, which was used for several major renovations, including technology upgrades, construction of the new Oakwood Elementary School, and an activities complex.

"We are hoping these repairs keep us going until sewers are ready, which we are hoping is tomorrow," laughed McMahon.

Realistically, McMahon is hoping the upgrades are good for at least five years, at which time she hopes sewers might be in place. At this time, she said the bacteria levels are not a health concern in the schools.

Ortonville Village Manager John Lyons and the village council approved the purchase of property on Narrin Street in the village earlier this year with sewers in mind. Environmental studies on the property were recently completed. Some contaminants were found, but the property is still usable for a wastewater treatment plant or light industrial.

"If the village council decided to pursue a wastewater treatment plant, we're over two years from beginning construction of anything," he said. "We have to design, plan, and pay for it. It will take eight months to design, and put funding in place."

The village council will discuss the property at their next meeting, set for 7 p.m., April 23 at the township offices, 395 Mill St.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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