Improvements to Pump Station Project Could Cost Fenton $65,000
Neighbors unhappy with installations made to Briarwood Street sewer pump station.
When workers were installing the improvements to a sanitary sewer pump station on Briarwood Street two years ago, Fenton resident Elizabeth Lum-Budry said she was told it would be a small structure and the family wouldn't notice it.
But when it was done, she and her husband John Lum-Budry definitely noticed it, she said.
On the city's side of the sidewalk are two concrete-covered chambers, a 6-foot tall control panel, vents and a generator and gas meter, said Department of Public Works Director Daniel Czarnecki. Property owners contacted Fenton about the visual appeal, and proposed solution could cost $65,000, Mayor Sue Osborn said.
Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl King said she was among those who approved the lift station improvements. She didn't know how large it would be, in the city's right of way at the location. King told Michael Darga, of Hubbell, Roth & Clark (HRC), that she wished she knew the impact of the improvements before it cost the city.
"Would you like to live at that house?" King said. "I really hope we learned something by this. It's a costly learning."
Councilman Les Bland, the city's retired director of Public Works, said Fenton received a grant for the sewer lift station work. The city was at the maximum amount for its grant, and he doubts the state would have approved more money for aesthetic reasons.
Council had sketches of the project but didn't know the panels would be so large, Bland said. The sewer lift station project was discussed at city hall during a public meeting, but none of those questions were asked.
Councilwoman Pat Lockwood said it's great that Fenton is considering some changes at the location. It's a pump station the city can't do without, but "it's unfortunate if you live there," she said. The lift station improvements have decreased property values in the neighborhood, along with the general economic conditions.
The cost estimate, from HRC, includes $65,000 for the proposed visual improvements to the Briarwood Street pump station, which includes $13,000 for design and construction engineering. In addition, aboveground concrete covers will be painted to help them blend into surroundings.
The project would include moving the electrical control panel, which is about 6 feet high, underground. An antenna for the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) still needs to be above ground, Czarnecki said. SCADA is an improvement that allows DPW employees to learn remotely, when the sewer lift station is experiencing an issue. They can often fix a problem via the SCADA communication system, without needing to visit the location.
The Briarwood sewer lift station lifts sewage that flows to it, so the waste can continue to flow by gravity to the Forest Street station, Czarnecki said. The Forest Street lift station lifts the sewage again, so it can continue to the main line that leads to the county treatment facility.
Lum-Budry asked to see a sketch of the visual improvement proposal beforehand, which council agreed upon.
The project is scheduled to come before city council for a vote at Monday's meeting, at 7:30 p.m. at Fenton City Hall. Bland said it will need to proceed quickly to meet the schedule HRC proposes.
Proposed project schedule
If city council approves the project on Monday,
* Preliminary plans could go to the city for review on June 4.
* Final plans would be reviewed June 18.
* Plans would be available to bidders July 9.
* Fenton would open the bids July 30.
* Council could award the contract Aug. 13.
* Construction could begin Sept. 4.
* Construction could be completed Sept. 28.
Source: City of Fenton