Sheridan Village Council addresses infrastructure issues

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 10:45 am on Thursday, June 13, 2013

SHERIDAN — The village of Sheridan is going to be getting a major face-lift this summer.

Some of the improvements there, such as new picnic tables at the lakeside park, have already been completed. But the lion’s share of the work lies ahead.

At their regular meeting Tuesday evening, members of the village council addressed some of the those projects with their primary focus on the upcoming M-66 street lighting initiative.

According to Village Superintendent Doug Lane, the project is tentatively slated to get underway July 29. Lane suggested putting up four signs along Main Street a few weeks prior to that start date in order to inform area residents about the work.

“They could see for the next few weeks before the construction starts,” Lane said. “MDOT (the Michigan Department of Transportation) might also put out some signs but I was thinking more about a message that there will still be parking behind the stores. We should have a courtesy thing out front just to let them know.”

Lane noted that many of the local businesses were concerned about a loss of revenue during the streetscape project. The signs, he said, could go a long way toward letting people know the businesses will remain open and that there will be plenty of parking available.

Village President Susan Wyckoff-McFarland supported Lane’s initiative.

“I tend to agree,” she said. “It’s not going to hurt us to help out the businesses.”

Councilman Don Nassif suggested Lane look into the cost of renting large, lighted highway signs to make the announcement. Lane agreed to look into it and offered several alternative suggestions, including making the signs in-house and affixing them to traffic barrels that will already be in place prior to construction.

“We want to do as much for our businesses as we can,” Lane said. “Anything we can do will be a plus for our businesses.”

The council also again discussed the possibility of putting in a large, community clock in the renovated downtown area. Though there was no motion to actually purchase such a clock, the council opted to include the installation of an electrical conduit to power one, to be installed as part of the street lighting project.

“We wouldn’t want to look back two years from now and say, ‘Gee, I wish we’d put a clock in,’” Wyckoff-McFarland said.

By including the conduit as part of the lighting project, the door remains open to install a public clock at a later date, when and if funds become available. The estimated cost of the clock is about $2,000.

In other business, the council agreed to give Lane authority to purchase a new programmable logic controller — a device that helps control the town’s water supply and keep the water tower filled — should the need arise. The current controller is, according to Lane, outmoded and difficult, if not impossible, to find parts for.

“Last time the guy fixed it, he said it was basically an obsolete system,” Lane said. “The parts are very hard to get.”

At present, the controller’s inconsistent performance requires Department of Public Works employees to make adjustments manually several times a day, including weekends and evenings.

“That sounds pretty important,” Wyckoff-McFarland said. “I’m all for moving on this. We talked about this last year, so we kind of knew it was coming down.”

Lane will attempt to have the present controller repaired one last time before deciding whether to purchase a newer, modern unit. The estimated cost for a new controller is about $4,400.

The council meets next at 7:30 p.m. July 9.

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