Mattawan spends $12,800 for new water, sewer controls

MATTAWAN, Mich., (Kalamazoo Gazette)–With aging technology and a federally mandated new arsenic-treatment plant on the way, the village of Mattawan has decided it is a convenient time for a water and sewer controls upgrade.

“When the water-treatment project came along, we decided at that time that we were going to upgrade our controls to a more 20th-century system,” said Tom Anthony, Department of Public Works superintendent.

The Village Council has been preparing for a new arsenic-treatment plant expected to cost about $2 million. The federal government recently lowered the guidelines for the arsenic percentage in water from 50 parts per 1 billion gallons to 10 parts per 1 billion gallons.
Currently the village’s arsenic percentage is 12 parts per 1 billion gallons forcing the need for the new arsenic plant. Since the arsenic-treatment plant project won’t begin construction until fall, Anthony has received approval from the council to move forward on a water-and-sewer controls project.

The village plans to replace its current System Control Data Acquisition system, which monitors the water and sewer system. The current system, from 1998, has had problems over the years.

By replacing the outdated system, the village also will update security measures at facilities to a video system that will take video if entry alarms are set off. The video clips are then automatically sent via the Internet to designated contacts including Anthony and the Police Department. The high level of security brings Mattawan in line with the latest domestic anti-terrorism measures.

“With the society that we now live in with the scare of terrorism, the upgrades are a necessary to make sure that we are secure,” Anthony said.

The new system features a radio-communication alert that replaces the dedicated phone-line alert system currently in place. By getting rid of the dedicated phone line, village officials estimate the new system will pay for itself in about 5 to 10 years.

”I think Mattawan is ahead of the curve especially with the new camera system,” Anthony said. “We will be a demo site for the new system. Everybody has entry alarms which will call you if doors open, but very few places have camera systems that will send you the pictures off site.”

The cost of the new system is $12,800. The system will be installed by EL Controls, of Kalamazoo, and will be completed before fall.

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.