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Drinking water replacement loan plan approved

By Lisa Brody

Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved a plan for an application for loan funds from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan (DWSRF) program to replace water mains in the Birmingham Farms subdivision at their meeting on Monday, June 14, despite learning their application would not be funded by the state for this year, but is valid for five years.

Olivia Olsztyn-Budry, director of township engineering and environmental services, explained the plan had to be submitted to the state by July 1, as well as have a public hearing. The benefit of the DWSRF program is it has low interest rates. When she initially met with state officials, she said they told her the project was likely to qualify.

“A few weeks ago, we were notified by the state of Michigan they had lots and lots of applications for this program, which provide grants and loans through the Michigan Clean Water program,” she said. “In the past the township has funded these programs. This is the first time we've applied to this revolving loan fund. While we qualified, the township did not make the cut, and the state will not be allocating the funds.”

She explained though that the project is good for five years, and if the state has more funds through Michigan Clean Water, or through the American Rescue Act, the township would have the application ready.

Karyn Stickel from Hubbel, Roth & Clark explained the low-interest loans are for 30 years for planning, designing and constructing eligible water system projects through EGLE. She said the township's water system was constructed in the early 1960's, with most in poor condition, resulting in excessive breaks.

She said the township prepared a water asset management plan in 2017 to recommend water mains in bad condition, and the next one on the list is the Birmingham Farms subdivision, at Telegraph and 14 Mile. She explained the water mains, all of which are six-inch and eight-inch, are in poor condition, would be replaced with new eight-inch mains over three years.


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