Children’s book promoting lineworker career goes to local library and schools

By Ralph Echtinaw

Parents who want their kids to explore blue collar career opportunities might be interested in a children’s book called If I Were a Lineworker that the city of St. Louis recently acquired.

“We had a chance to look at those last fall at the MMEA (Michigan Municipal Electric Association) conference,” said City Manager Kurt Giles. “And they offered to go together and get some printed, and there was enough interest with all the Michigan utilities to get very low pricing for printing those.”

The city bought 500 copies of the 16-page book for $1,250. “We’re going to work on getting those out into the schools and in visitors hands here,” Giles said.

“We expect to use them as promotional materials for several years. We understand they’re considered a ‘picture book,’ so the intended readership is preschool to second grade. We’ll be reaching out to our St. Louis Schools representatives in the near future to attempt to get some copies to young readers, parents, etc.”

Interested parents may also get one of these booklets at the St. Louis public library. “We are coordinating with our library staff in an effort to get some of these into the hands of young readers before or during March Reading Month,” Giles said.

The Electric Department’s employees are the highest paid hourly workers in the city, pulling down $39.18/hour.

Sludge hauler hired

City council approved a contract with Michigan Agribusiness Solutions of Saginaw to remove 600,000 to 800,000 gallons of biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant over the next three years.

The company will be paid $150,000 to $200,000, depending on how much sludge is removed. The material will be spread on farmers fields to help crops grow.

Also bidding on the contract were BioTech Agronomics of Beulah, Mich. and Nutrigro Environmental Solution of Charlotte, Mich.

Pine Street reconstruction

Council approved the administration’s request to apply for a $250,000 Michigan Department of Transportation grant to help pay for the Pine Street reconstruction project. However, Public Services Director Keith Risdon said, “This does not obligate us to do the project.”

The city estimates that the Pine Street project will cost $2.5 million for the road, $735,000 for the water main and $600,000 for the sewer for a grand total of $3.8 million.

Bids have yet to be solicited for sewer, water and road work on North Pine Street, which the city hopes to do this year. If they come in too high, the city reserves the right to shelve the project.

Independence Day celebration

Councilwoman Liz Upton reported Wednesday that the Moose Lodge contacted her to say members are interested in arranging a motorcycle show at the city’s Independence Day celebration. Upton and her husband Adam hope to do a repeat performance of last year’s Independence Day  craft show.

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