Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Repairs a good deal

by Brad Lindberg Staff Writer

January 31, 2013

CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — A state grant and discount loan nearly make $3.5 million worth of city-wide sewer repairs a financial wash.

The grant funds 90 percent of engineering costs, leaving the City of Grosse Pointe a $13,000 bill.

A low-interest loan for $3,443,800 at 2 percent interest will be paid by sewer fees.

“The state is providing us a low-interest loan at 2 percent, so we don’t have to issue a bond, which might cost 4 or 5 percent,” said Peter Dame, City of Grosse Pointe manager. “The loan will be paid from water and sewer fees charged to citizens.”

About half of sewers targeted are rated “critical or high” in need of repairs, according to Stephen Pangori, a principal at Anderson Eckstein and Westrict project engineers.

“These are the harder ones to fix and more expensive than sewer lining, which is why getting the grant and, essentially free money on loan, is a great benefit,” Dame said.

Repairs range from lining stressed pipes to replacing those that can’t be fixed. Some construction requires excavation.

Problem areas were identified in 2006 during a system-wide cleaning and video survey, funded with help from a state grant.

Dame intends to repair pipes before they collapse and require costly fixing, as last year on Rivard and University.

“Emergency repairs cost a lot more than if you proactively go out and fix them before they are at that stage,” Dame said.