Mattawan council amends ordinance for MPI Research

MATTAWAN — The Mattawan Village Council convened a Zoning Board of Appeals session July 9before the council’s regular business meeting to discuss amending a zoning ordinance for MPI Research.

MPI plans to install new exhaust fans designed to “shoot the smells higher in the air for safety reasons,” MPI representative Ken Coets said.

At issue is the 55-foot height at which the new fans are to be installed. The Mattawan zoning ordinance restricts building height to 50 feet.
The Zoning Board heard concerns from residents that the village does not own a firetruck equipped with a ladder to handle any height above 50 feet. The Mattawan Fire Department is searching for a new truck that could accommodate the increased height.

However, it was made clear that surrounding fire departments could help the village if an emergency should occur.

Zoning Board members referred to a precedent and saw no imminent threat to safety posed by changing the ordinance to accommodate MPI’s fans.

“We haven’t had anything to indicate that it’s a hazard,” Village Attorney Scott Graham said.

Citing previously mentioned concerns for safety, only Councilwoman Margot Bemer voted against the ordinance change.

Bids for asenic plant sought

During the regular council meeting, Village Engineer Karl Freed told council members that bids could be submitted for construction of the new $2 million arsenic-treatment plant. This is an important step because of a January 2008 federal compliance deadline for the plant, meant to lower levels of arsenic in village water so they meet new government standards.

The council acknowledged that once bids start to be received, slight changes and alterations could be made to the plan. The council decided to move forward with the plan as is with the exception that addendums could be made, making it possible for the council to award contracts for the project by Labor Day.

Also, the council approved bids for new radio remotes for building meters, five new conversion water hydrants, the upsizing of impellers at the village’s No. 2 Lift Station and the irrigation of Mattawan Village Park.

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