Sewer Project Meetings tomorrow, March 17

On March 17, public meetings will be held at the Bear Lake School Library at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m., located at 7748 Cody Street, Bear Lake, Michigan.
Please note the original posting by the Village quoted wrong dates.
Subscribers to Bear Lake News have submitted the following questions which have been forwarded to both the Village and Township – together with, once again, a request for reasonable accommodation for those who are unable to attend through infirmity or disability. [i.e an audio/video recording or a full written transcript of the proceedings]
  • Alliance for Economic Success is not a governmental entity, therefore it’s actions are not subject to MI Open Meetings Act or FOIA. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is a sovereign nation and also not subject to these ‘Sunshine Laws’. I am curious how this project arrived at this level of development without any local notification or discussion at a public meeting held by the participating units of government? At what public meeting were the Township Supervisor and Village President authorized to take part in this steering committee?
  • Why was information originally bragged as ‘only being available here’ on a Facebook page not the public web sites of our elected governments?
  • I see all the authorizing documents have already been voted on – and NOW we have the public ‘information’ meeting? The downfall of the previous 2 sewer attempts was deliberate misinformation – if this is so important why not operate in public?
  • We applaud the effort to provide infrastructure for Downtown Bear Lake – however, why should local residents pay for something that will benefit a private developer?
  • Lake quality has consistently improved for the past several years – so environmental concerns are unfounded. What concerns me is the possibility of environmental damage caused by explosive development and storm water run off from newly paved areas?
  • At what public meeting was the decision made to hire this particular grant writer and Wade Trim? Why was there no Request For Proposals issued to see what other firms are qualified? Who do these individuals work for? AES or LRBOI? Who determined the rate of pay?
  • Is this system solely to provide commercial service? If so it should be financed as a Special Assessment.
  • If the intent is to run the main collection system along M22 – how much damage will this do to a designated Scenic Highway?
  • Looking at the rumor of using M22 as the main route – how on earth can the engineering of pumps and lift stations possibly accommodate the topography except at a huge cost? Is it $36 or $46m and how much of that is just to put in the pipe?
  • How will lift stations be powered unless a natural gas service line is installed? A fail safe back up power system must be installed for each to prevent a major leak.
  • To maintain enough pressure to lift that volume over that distance will require considerable energy costs. Is it even possible to allow private property hook ups to this main high pressure collection pipe?
  • The Tribal treatment plant states an increased capacity of 200,000 gallons per day – this is woefully inadequate if the intent is to add volume from Arcadia and Bear Lake. Assuming this is a Groundwater Discharge Permit – what additional MBR equipment will be in place to capture contaminants of emerging concern and the inevitable industrial waste which will follow commercial development?
  • Where does the LRBOI intend to disperse the increased biosolids?
  • If the LRBOI owns the treatment works – will they also be obligated to share in the costs of maintaining, repairing and replacing the collections system? If this is a P3 [Public/Private Partnership] what protections will there be for increases in fees and costs passed on to local citizens?
  • The current @ cost of running a main collection pipe is $0.5m per mile – how can this be justified in our rural communities? Unless plans are also afoot to turn M22 into a developed area?
  • You have stated that one rationale for this project is to protect three watersheds – how can you reconcile that statement when, should this project proceed, you will be diverting/withdrawing millions of gallons of precious groundwater from the Greater Bear Watershed and the Arcadia marshes?
  • With the Village set to construct 2 high capacity drinking water wells, and past Wellhead Protection Mapping showing the integral relationship between Bear Lake itself and the groundwater fed aquifer – if all that produced water is then diverted to Manistee, will this have the same affect of lowering Lake levels as has occurred, with disasterous results, in other such communities?
  • It would seem these people have no intent of listening to the wishes or suggestions of people who live here. This will be the third attempt to ram an overblown sewer project down our throats.
  • Will the ‘feasibility’ study look seriously at alternative, more sustainable, more affordable, service and collection/management systems and programs that could still include using the LRBOI Treatment Facility? There can be no justification for this length of collection for this stagnant rural population.
  • Certain individuals have claimed that this sewer is vital for growth and development. The Village of Onekama and Honor have been sewered for decades – where is the growth and economic investment there?
  • We, the US Tax payer have already invested millions in the Village of Onekama treatment system – why not use that?
[official notice]
 — The governing bodies of five local units of government in ManisteeCounty have each passed resolutions to determine the financial feasibility of working together with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians to establish municipal sewer capacity. Participating local governments including Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Arcadia Township, Village of Bear Lake and Bear Lake TownshipNext steps involve forming a sewer authority and submitting an application to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Development to determine the level of grant and loan funds available for the project.A grant application will be submitted soon to USDA to cover the majority of the costs associated with the preparation of the financing application by the firm Wade Trim on behalf of the Authority.
On March 17 and 18, three public meetings will be held to discuss the project. On March 17, public meetings will be held at the Bear Lake School Library at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m., located at 7748 Cody Street, Bear Lake, Michigan.
On March 18, a public meeting will be held in the gymnasium at the Pleasant Valley Community Center at 10 a.m., located at 3586 Glovers Lake Road, Arcadia, Michigan. Anyone interested may attend any and all community meetings. The meetings will include participation by the participating local governments and the firm Wade Trim. The local governments have invited questions about the project and responses to those questions will be provided as part of the meeting. Apurpose of the meetings is to identify additional questions that individuals or other entities may have so that answers can be provided either during the meeting or in follow up to the meeting.Another set of public meetings will be held later this year to provide an update about the status of the project. The response from USDA on the availability of grant and loan funds for the project is estimated to be available late in 2017.The local units are developing the funding application to USDA to determine the financial feasibility of developing a sewer pipeline system that would connect with the wastewater treatment plant inManistee Township that is owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The local governments are collaborating because of their shared interest in protecting water quality in three high quality watersheds, enabling planned development that needs sewer infrastructure and taking advantage of the economic benefits of collaboration in the project.Questions about the project may also be submitted by:
Emailing them to the Alliance for Economic Success at:
Phoning them to the Alliance for Economic Success at 231-723-4325
Sending them to the Alliance for Economic Success by telefax to fax no. 231-723-3717

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