BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, NEWS EDITOR
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain updated commissioners on the latest happenings with the city’s administration and various departments at the latest Boyne City Commission meeting.
Cain’s topics, delivered on Tuesday Oct. 27, included updates on city street projects, tree removal, a reminder of the upcoming Boyne waterfront meeting date, work on the Boyne City open space, and potential for a $245,000 water main project.
Public works project
The city’s new DPW building, under construction at the North Boyne property, is still on schedule to be turned over to the city by Nov. 13.
The top course of paving on Court Street took place on Tuesday Oct. 27.
“The patch on West Michigan was completed yesterday and they hope to finish out the project by the end of this month … which would be the end of this week,” Cain said. “There probably will be some cleanup to do after that.”
The forced main pipe for the Sommerset Pointe wastewater project has been installed all the way from Advance to Boyne City’s main pump station on Front Street.
“They’re now going back to install the air release chambers along the route and the individual connection stubs for property owners who wish to have them installed,” Cain said.
“The recently approved road maintenance program is well underway,” said Cain. “As most people have noticed, trying to get around town without finding an area where we have ground down the pavement to improve it.”
He added, “They’re now replacing the removed pavement areas, and they’re scheduled to stay in town to work on that until the project is completed.”
Several trees have been removed from the top of Avalanche Mountain because they were blocking the view. Cain said the city is being careful in how it handles culling trees from the park.
Beach house removal
“You may have also noticed that the incomplete building on the open space grounds across from Family Fare is being disassembled and removed,” said Cain.
The building was the only structure Devlon Corporation ever built on what was supposed to be beachfront condos and a marina.
The property—known as the 475 North Lake Street Open Space—could become a public park if Boyne City officials can find the funding to purchase it from two local developers who bought the land from Devlon earlier this year.
Two community work sessions have been held to remove potentially toxic woodchips from the Boyne City Veterans Park playground.
According to Cain, nearly two-thirds of the chips have been removed. A third work session is being contemplated. Details will be released as soon as they are made available.
The playground is being cleaned due to arsenic contamination caused by seepage from the treated lumber on some of the playground structure.
“We’ve also had the baseline surface sampling of the playground structures themselves complete and we do have those results,” Cain said.
Boyne on the Water
The fourth and final meeting of the Boyne on the Water meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., when refreshments will be served.
The meeting will officially begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 17, at St. Matthew Parish Hall, 1303 Boyne Ave., in Boyne City.
New water main?
Cain said that, during the buildup to the Sommerset project, the city received numerous phone calls from residents along Lakeshore Drive regarding the poor quality of their water.
“Because of that, we’ve had C2AE prepare some preliminary cost estimates for what it would take to install a proper eight-inch water main basically from Tannery Park west along Lakeshore to the city limits,” Cain said. “And, they’ve determined that cost—based on their estimate—is about $245,000.”
Cain said the city continues to get comments from people who say they cannot use their water.
“We’re going to be setting up a meeting with them to see if they’re interested in creating a special assessment district to install a line that could be used to service their homes,” he said. “We definitely have the capability in our water system to accommodate them and many more. But, again, the water system doesn’t have funds to do that and if we’re going to do it a special assessment district would be the most logical way.”
Boyne City Commissioner Derek Gaylord asked if this issue arose when the sewer system was being installed.
Cain said the water quality issue has been a long-standing matter, and that property owners along the new sewer system route thought a water line would be installed at the same time.
One audience member spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. His comments on two topics are included below.
Bill Kuhn gave an update on the issue of standing water and flooding near Division Street where the city recently revived an old storm sewer system.
“I’ve been stopping down daily. When they pumped the water down to do the boring under the road, (a property owner) experienced relief for a few days and the standing water on the snowmobile trail disappeared for the first time in three years,” Kuhn said. “Unfortunately, where the manhole we put in the water has found its level about 40 inches on the outside of the manhole above the drain, and the water has reappeared on the snowmobile trail.”
He added, “The good news is I think we’re really close. I think that structure we put in will work, the drain, if we can get the water to find its way down quicker and maybe with some parallel ditches running to the south.”
Kuhn also asked the city to look into installing video surveillance cameras around the town, especially at the museum and the warming house at the skating rink.
“We’re ahead of most of these towns. Towns are trying to play catchup to Boyne City with all our events but we’re behind in video surveillance,” he said. “I think that’s something we really need to look at. I’m sure there’s other areas that we could put a camera here or there with a loop on it and be able to use it as a tool.”
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