Greenville buys equipment to video and record sewer system

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 12:59 pm on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Greenville WastewaterSuper-intendentShawn Wheat reviews details of purchasing cameras in connection with the city’s wastewater treatment plant during the March 21 Greenville City Council meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

GREENVILLE — In response to receiving funds from a state grant, this city is now preparing to take action by purchasing necessary asset management equipment.

During the March 21 meeting of the Greenville City Council, Wastewater Superintendent Shawn Wheat presented the council with a proposal to purchase cameras in connection with the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

After receiving $2 million in state funding through a Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater (SAW) grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Wheat and other city officials are beginning to put grant funds, in combination with city funds, to use.

According to Wheat, the city solicited bids for the purchase of a camera system to video and record sanitary and storm sewer lines in the city.

The lowest bidder meeting specifications was M-Tech Equipment of Cleveland, Ohio, in an amount not to exceed $202,870.

Additional bids were received from Bell Equipment of Lake Orion in the amount of $228,300, and Jack Doheny Companies of Northville at $201,100. Although Jack Doheny Companies was the lowest bidder, Wheat said they did not meet the city’s specifications.

The council unanimously approved the proposal to purchase the equipment at a cost not to exceed $202,870.

The SAW grant will pay for $114,408 (57 percent), which leaves $88,462 that will be paid by the city on a lease-to-own basis from the company over five years.

“The city is currently in our second year of our SAW grant work. Moving forward with the grant work and into asset management, we will be required to assess and grade all of our collection system pipes, not in the initial phase of the program, but over the next 10 years,” Wheat said.

According to Wheat, what the city plans to accomplish in the initial phase of the program is cleaning and camera work of 27 percent of the city’s sewer pipe and 13 percent of its storm sewer pipe, all of the river crossings, and smoke testing of most of the older system areas and assessment and grading of all of the wastewater plant assets.

Wheat said to accomplish this work, the city could either pay a contractor to do the work on its own schedule at an inflated price, or the city could purchase its own equipment and perform the work itself.

City Manager George Bosanic said with the city purchasing the equipment itself, there will be added benefit, especially when the SAW grant funds are exhausted.

“After the SAW grant is over with, we’re still required to maintain the systems,” he said. “So, in essence, we’re paying ourselves to do it.”

With Asset Management Programs becoming a requirement for municipalities in Michigan, Bosanic said he is hopeful that in purchasing the equipment, the city can be hired to perform the work for other communities, thus further justifying the purchase of the equipment.

“I don’t want you to expect, though we hope, that those who are not able to do this — smaller communities — will actually contract with us because they are going to have to use it,” he said. “We could actually generate some revenue, that is our intent, and offset some of these costs.”

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