Unfortunately on the flip side, it appears El Niño is causing further drought for portions of the eastern and southern African continent which in turn, “…is putting millions at risk of hunger, water shortages and disease” according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Thomas Reuters Foundation). El Niño is also causing drought in other parts of the world such as Central America, Indonesia, and the Philippines. My intent is not to bring everyone “down” but it reminded me that the complexity of weather that causes a form of relief in one part of the world can exasperate already precarious conditions in another. It’s fascinating how connected the world is in circumstances not always inherently visible to our everyday experiences. It can sometimes cost the American taxpayers monetarily when we become morally committed to extend aid to those regions experiencing hardships. Minimally, it’s an interesting observation that may be obvious but still of value.
Don’t forget the first sign of Spring: the Grand Rapids Boat Show at DeVos Place for those inclined in such activities. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, please be safe and have the greatest time ever! Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the agenda or any other topic of concern or question.
Water Project Phase I
We’re still waiting for an update on the on the feasibility to inspect the interior diameter of the 16 inch water transmission main under the Grand River. As stated in the last memo, preliminary study is leaning towards not inspecting the line due to the possible need of significant downtime required to complete the inspection. I have not pushed this project at this time as other more pressing issues, including the WWTP Phase II Project, have required more attention. As I receive updates I will communicate them to you.
WWTP Project Phase II
Last week Thursday the Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) and I met with representatives from Muskegon County and the Muskegon County Waste Water Treatment Plant. The information provided the UAC was essentially a recap of information provided to city staff over the past few months. The real value of the meeting was to offer committee members the opportunity to ask questions, and there were a number of good questions asked, on the details of the project and potential partnership between Muskegon and Coopersville. We’re still waiting for “numbers” from Grand Rapids on their proposal as well as a couple of proposals to upgrade our own plant to 3.3MGD or 5MGD (Million Gallons per Day).
I understand we’ve spent many months in collecting and evaluating data, but the significant ramifications on the decisions made today will echo for years to come. We need to make thorough evaluations so that decisions ultimately made have genuine value for our citizens and business owners decades from now.
The new furnaces at city hall have been installed and it appears they’re functioning normally, we know this because we can’t see our breaths. We still have a few cold spots that are inherent in any older structure such as heat ducting close to outer walls, windows not insulating like newer windows, but it is better. On behalf of the administrative staff and myself, thank you Council for approving this non-budgeted expenditure.
Waste Water Treatment Plant
Since we’ve made a few changes at the WWTP staff, operations continue without interruption and more importantly, no violations. We’re making progress to streamline several administrative processes and we’re also studying and evaluating options to improve the plant’s efficiencies.
We did have to send out blower motor #3 (aeration ponds) out for diagnostics and repair. The other two motors are functioning properly. The motor is under warranty and should not cost us much if anything, so we understand.