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In its December 18, 2023 meeting, the Chelsea City Council approved a water systems capacity study presented by Corey Davis, the Water Superintendent. The study is a collaboration between Chelsea and Sylvan Township, exploring a possible joint venture to interconnect their water systems.

The study will evaluate the impact of this interconnection on both current and future water supplies provided by the city and township. Furthermore, it will assess the feasibility of such a connection, including thorough laboratory analysis.

A prominent aspect of this partnership is the cost-sharing agreement between the city and township, with Chelsea bearing two-thirds of the expenses. The anticipated future developments within Lima Township influence this decision. In pursuit of this goal, the city staff solicited a Request for Proposal (RFP) from various firms.

The city received two proposals: one from IMEG Consultants Corporation for $12,800 and another from Fleis & VandenBrink for $66,000. “The cost is significantly different,” noted Davis. “We believe that it’s because IMEG has most of the data between the two systems because we’ve been working on this for so long.”

City Manager Marty Colburn emphasized the cooperative nature of this agreement, focusing on the compatibility of water sources and the practicality of interconnecting the two public water systems. As described by Colburn, the intent is to assess whether such an interconnection is feasible and wise, considering it as a strategy for risk management and service continuity if necessary.

Colburn recommended a motion to award the proposal to IMEG Consultants Corporation, setting the city’s cost share at a maximum of $8,533.33 and authorizing the mayor and clerk to formalize the agreement with Sylvan Township regarding cost-sharing. The council unanimously approved it.

The scope of services includes a review of existing water system capacities, collaboration with department staff to pinpoint areas for system improvements, and a detailed report covering several critical aspects. These include the initial impacts of current approved developments, the implications of adding an interconnect between the Sylvan Township and Chelsea City water systems, and the potential effects on future developments in both areas.

Additionally, the report is expected to shed light on future demands on the Chelsea City and Sylvan Township water systems, considering their respective growth projections and land use plans. This encompasses an analysis of probable costs for current and future infrastructure improvements.

Lastly, the vendor is tasked with presenting their findings and recommendations to both the Chelsea City Council and the Sylvan Township Board, coupled with a laboratory analysis of both water systems to evaluate their compatibility.

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