By Jim Bloch
The city of St. Clair will issue $10.5 million in revenue bonds to pay for a low interest loan through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to improve the city’s water filtration plant on Adams Street and the shorewell pump station in Palmer Park.
The city council voted 7-0 at its regular meeting May 15 to approve issuing the bonds to pay for the project.
The resolution approving the bond issuance encapsulated the work to be done on the water system: “water treatment plant improvements, improvements to the Shorewell pump station, pretreatment, filtration, chemical feed, flow meters, electrical and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, water treatment plant building improvements and expansion, and water mains in the city,” and related work.
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The project will bring the water plant up to current standards and expand the facility’s treatment capacity from three million to four million gallons of water per day. The expansion is necessary in part to feed the new Magna Electrical Vehicle Structure plant in the city’s industrial park, which will become the city’s single largest water user.
EGLE mandated six of the improvements, including upgrading the material — sand and anthracite — used to filter the raw water, improvements to the coagulant system used to fuse particles in the water to allow them to settle out and installing a new backup generator.
The shorewell pump building in Palmer Park, where the water is pumped from the St. Clair River, will be expanded to store the chlorine used for zebra mussel control and a new backup pump.
The plant is more than 40 years old.
The interest rate on the DWSRF loan is 1.75 percent for 20 years or 2.175 for 30 years, said City Superintendent Quentin Bishop.
“It’s a good move to make,” said Bishop, as heard on the CTV-Channel Six recording of the meeting posted on YouTube. “It’s the smart move to make.”
Any resident opposed to the financing of the project has 45 days to file petition for a referendum opposing the bonding.
“The $10 million — you said that includes the pump station?” asked former council member Bill Klieman.
“Yes, it does,” said Bishop.
“Didn’t the city receive a grant to do that work?” asked Klieman.
“That is part of the project, yes,” said Bishop. “$970,000 worth. “
“How much is the total cost at the pump station?” asked Klieman.
“Total cost at the pump station is $1.2 million,” said Bishop.
“So we’re going to take the bond to pay for the remainder?” asked Klieman.
Yes, said Bishop.
Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.