Water Project

Mills gets $4.1 M for water project
Josh Grosteffon, Midland Daily News
04/21/2006

APRIL 22 CORRECTION: Mills residents who choose to pay off their special assement can do it yearly at a rate of $110.41 plus interest.

With the loan closed, documents signed, the contractor picked out and all plans in place, the Mills Township water project is set to move forward, with construction starting as soon as next week.

A low-interest U.S Department of Agriculture loan and grant package totaling $4.1 million is paying for the work.

Christine Maxwell, community programs specialist for the USDA, presented Mills Township a check for the grant and loan amounts Thursday at the Mills Township Hall. The grants, nearly $1.7 million, make up 40 percent of the cost of the project and the rest are loans in the amount of almost $2.5 million.

"That's your tax dollars coming back to Mills Township," Maxwell said.

The loan/grant combo comes from the Rural Development program, designed to help rural communities of fewer than 10,000 people pay for municipal water and sewer systems.

For residents in the special assessment district, the total assessment is $4,416.40, which is payable until 2045 at a cost of $110 a month plus 5.25 percent interest. There is also a debt service fee for those in the district.

The rest of the costs to homeowners include burying pipe from the home to the road, which can be done by an excavator or by hand, and a $950 capital fee to the City of Midland for a meter and yoke. Then, water will cost approximately $1.40 per 1,000 gallons used under the township's 40-year contract with the city.

Supervisor Daniel Bloom estimated the whole project will take four to six months. It coincides with an expansion to Larkin Township's water district, which will bring an oversized main to Mills, allowing that township to receive service.

Douglas Stevens, an engineer from Ayres Associates who worked on the Mills project as well as Larkin's expansion, said Larkin's work will take place in late August/early September.

Bloom, who has worked on the project for several years, was applauded for the effort and cooperation from township attorneys, Larkin officials, USDA, Midland city officials and project engineers.

"We've been at this for a long time and to see this come together is extraordinary," Bloom said.

Rohde Brothers Excavating Inc. of Saginaw won the bid for the township's work.