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Posted on: February 10, 2024

BREAKING NEWS – $14 million sewer expansion project moves forward

(INDIAN RIVER, MI Feb 10, 2024) After a five-year community effort, the residential sewer expansion begins with invitations to bid next week. This includes Phase 1 and 2 bids for the plant expansion and Phase 1 collections systems. A collection system is a series of pipes and pumps that are constructed in the neighborhood to get waste to the sewer plant. The Phase 2 collection system is awaiting an EGLE permit which is expected to be issued next month. After the permit is issued, the Phase 2 collection system will also go out for bid.

The expansion is being funded by local residents and grants and loans from the USDA, EPA, EGLE and US Congressional funding (earmark). In mid-to late March, the Tuscarora Township Board of Trustees will hold a special public meeting to open the bids and decide next steps. Recent inflation is a cause of concern.

The project would provide sewer service for over 400 homes and churches in an environmentally sensitive area along the Indian River and Burt Lake.

State Representative Cam Cavitt and state Senator John Damoose worked hard over the past 6 weeks to get the appropriate permits issued from the State of Michigan. Local officials approached both EGLE and legislators with concerns over months of permit delays by EGLE. Township officials and legislators expressed concerns to EGLE that further delays would cause the project to miss the summer construction season.

“This is an incredible citizen driven, community effort. Volunteers spent many hours gathering petitions, attending community meetings, raising funds and working with the township,” Tuscarora Township Supervisor Bob Kramer said. “We are especially grateful to the Burt Lake Preservation Association who funded the initial study and supported the project along with the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.”

Supervisor Kramer and Trustee Janet Vance conduct community meetings monthly to update residents on the project and address concerns. The meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 6PM at the township hall. Starting in March, the meeting will also be available on Zoom. Check the township calendar on the township web site.

You can get more information as it becomes available on the township web site by clicking on “Sewer Expansion Project,” at www.tuscaroratwp.com.

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