By Georgia Thelen
Review Staff Writer
After a September 12 presentation of a proposed water main replacement plan at the Village of Lake Orion council meeting, the council has been discussing their options for this and several other capital improvements plans.
The Village of Lake Orion previously completed their water system reliability study and engineers have made recommendations that the Village conduct about $7.8 million worth of improvements to the currently deteriorating water system. These improvements would include replacing a large majority of the Village 2”, 4” and 6” water mains as well as the 8” main on Heights Road, because it is an old main and it produces many problems.
“We are hoping to have a draft capital plan in place and actually start moving into the process of setting up Phase 1. Right now, optimistically, our target is to start construction next summer,” said Darwin McClary, Village of Lake Orion Manager.
If the project stays on a tight schedule, the engineers have said that each of the four phases can be done in one construction season, so the entire project would ideally be completed in four years. Optimistically, the Village of Lake Orion is hoping for phase one to be done by the end of next year.
“We still have a lot of work to do to make that happen, including getting a final agreement to move forward on this. We need to get the funding in place because we’re going to have to decide how we’re funding it,” said McClary.
McClary stated the Village is still discussing their funding options, but they are currently looking at issuing revenue bonds and adjusting water rates to accommodate a 30-year repayment schedule on the bonds.
“This is going to result in a significant increase in water rates, but it has to be done,” said McClary.
The Village council has still not made a final decision, but they are currently discussing the revenue bond option during work sessions.