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DPW monthly report (July)

By DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott

Public Works solid waste operations included usual yard waste and brush pickup. Both were heavy for this time of year due in part to extra rain and falling back a week due to the Fourth of July holiday. 

Work at the Wells Road lot continued with a large inflow of concrete rubble from the West State Street and sidewalk replacement projects. At current estimate we are slightly ahead of our 10-year cycle for intake of concrete for crushing and use of the processed material. This process provides excellent material for road maintenance work at a third of the cost of purchasing it outright. 

We also mix our street sweeping spoils into the crushed concrete, saving us landfill cost to dispose of it. This process is used in California. Bunk area for this fall’s leaves has been prepared and improvements to the lot surface were also performed. The brush pile was also burned.

Work at the pool continued with the painting completed, pool filled, filters were backwashed and chemicals brought up to operational levels. There was debris from the fireworks and from nearby pine trees blown into the pool that took some time to remove. An automatic pool bottom cleaning robot was demonstrated for staff and administration. It looks to be a labor saver. A wall was built along the mechanical pit and water heaters enclosed with a countertop and stools for pool staff to work at with marker boards and accessories added. Changing rooms were sanitized and equipment moved to the pool deck. 

Staff continued to maintain the cemetery, mowing, trimming and cutting low hanging branches. A few potholes were filled, and several requests for information were answered. Veteran’s flags were removed from graves and stored in the old vault house for next year. Red bark was added to beds at the memorial cross area. I received one estimate for repaving the chapel parking lot and expect another soon. I hope to complete that work this season. I am currently working with Michigan Works to obtain youth workers to help with painting items.

Park maintenance has continued with mowing and trimming, trash pickup, port-a-john cleaning and picking up debris. A youth crew from Mid-Michigan Industries of Mt. Pleasant set up a crew to help us with painting picnic tables at Clapp Park. Unfortunately, the provided supervisor had personal issues, and they have not been able to find a replacement. I am waiting for a response for an update. We are planning to replace the old pea stone safety surface with rubber mulch at Penny Park late this summer. We also plan to do some needed painting and trimming there. When the sidewalk project is completed, the contractor has agreed to replace the sidewalk at the Leppien Park bridge to remove trip hazards there. Rentals at Leppien Park pavilion have been going well with everyone cleaning up after their events. Lions Park has been used by Fisher Contracting for staging at the Michigan Avene lift station project. It will be cleaned after work is complete. The new basketball court at Lincoln Park was completed except for the court markings. From our observations it is being used regularly by local youth.

The concrete slab has been completed at the DPW South lot, and bunk blocks are on site and ready to be set. This bunk will hold pea stone that is used for weight in dump trucks for winter snow plowing, and for crushed concrete for smaller road repairs. Work continues at the north storage lot at DPW removing sod and installing asphalt millings for base. This lot is used for material and equipment storage. This work will reduce labor costs by eliminating mowing and trimming. It will also improve efficiency with better organization of materials. 

Public Works responded to several resident sewer info requests and assisted contractors with locating and repairing connections at the main. Water Department staff found an illegal connection of downspouts to the sewer lead on West State Street. A letter is being sent to have the connection removed. A sewer lead was replaced in the 500 block of Berea Street. The removed sidewalk was replaced, but the street cut has not been completed. A call was made to the contractor, Wonsey Tree Service, requesting completion. The resident was also contacted, and they are likewise involved to promote getting the work done as soon as possible.

Paving work on North Main Street, North Union Street and Hubbard Street was completed. Gravel was added to the shoulders and pavement markings installed. Central Asphalt performed well, as usual. Progress is being made on West State Street reconstruction with water main, storm drains, conduit under railroad tracks, and a large portion of the undercut and sand base are done. Two sewer leads were found that need replacement to avoid future pavement cuts. Rain has been an issue, but the project is still expected to be completed near the projected completion date. Whitney Place will also be paved when State Street is paved to complete the new surface in that area. 

The Michigan Avenue lift station project is also progressing. The river crossing is complete, and the wet well is being built. The project is behind schedule.

With Covid restrictions relaxing I was able to schedule the men for work zone safety training and the DPW staff with water licenses at a training day for continuing education credits needed for license renewal.

Brush hogging work has been completed at all city lots. We experience a set back with Bader & Sons (now Hutson Co.) selling the old mowing equipment and not being able to provide us with a cost-effective alternative. After much searching, a track unit was located and will be picked up to mow our slopes, ditches, and riverbanks before the end of July.

Brush was trimmed where it was blocking signage.

Scheduled Twin City Landscape for contracted trimming and spraying.

Performed required Miss Dig utility locating.

Performed all office duties, correspondence, attended city council, park board, and manager’s meetings. 

Attended water cyber-attack management webinar.

Provided signage for car cruise in events.

Prepared and cleaned up parks and downtown for fireworks.

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