I searched the past few years of meeting minutes for [Tetra-Tech, sewer]  Any text is copy/pasted from the minutes.


2020-02-25 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 4.  Resolution 20-620: Notice of Intent to Issue Capital Improvement Bonds

Steven Mann of Miller Canfield and Stephen Hayduk of Bendzinski & Company Municipal Finance Counselors answered questions about the effect of various bonds on the Township’s finance ratings, the difference between general obligation and revenue bonds, and how to proceed.
Dockett objected to bids not being sought for legal services related to the bonding.

  • Motion: Chockley moved, Chick seconded, to adopt Resolution 20-620 Authorizing Publication of Notice of Intent to Issue Capital Improvement Bonds and Declaration of Intent to Reimburse from Bond Proceeds.

Zelenock asked about the contingency. There was discussion regarding the type of bond to use. Mann noted the amount in the resolution is the absolute ceiling and will be lower after bids are received.

  • Motion carried 4—2 on a voice vote, Zelenock and Dockett opposed. Resolution adopted.

Otto noted the Board must sent out a postcard to residents per ordinance due to the amount. Mann noted a legal notice must also be placed.

In answer to questions, Willis said it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more to place the equalization basin in a location mentioned by area residents, a tank is needed due to the sewer line coming in under pressure, and while blue is the standard color, other colors can be chosen at an additional cost. Willis said the Township can plant trees to help block the view of the tank.


2020-02-11 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 5.  Funding Options for Wastewater Treatment Plant Equalization Basin Construction

  • Motion: Chockley moved, Chick seconded, that the Township Manager and Township legal counsel draft a resolution to be considered at the February 25, 2020, meeting to authorize the publication of the intent to issue General Obligation Bonds in the amount of $6,240,225 for the construction of an equalization basin at the wastewater treatment plant.

In answer to questions, Brian Rubel, Tetra Tech, said:

  • Tetra Tech has completed drawings needed for bids, but there are costs in addition to what is paid to the contractor (engineering, legal, financial) as well a 25% contingency amount, which would allow the project to proceed if bids come in high.
  • He is not sure what the speakers during Call to the Public were referring to about using more modern technology, but there are three ways to address the issue: (a) find and correct infiltration sources, (b) push more water through the pipes (both of which the plant staff do), and (c) to manage the flows, which the proposed tank would assist with.
  • He does not know of another logical location for the tank given limitations on the site, including wetlands, and the need to drain the tank using gravity. He confirmed trees are being removed.

Board members made comments including that this proposal will need to be approved by Green Oak Township (which has issued a letter stating the proposal meets all site plan requirements), a 25% contingency seems excessive and specifics of what is included should be provided, what the cost to sewer customers is should be clear, the Township should consider a time of sale inspection program to help correct infiltration issues, residents not on sewer should not be liable for future expenses, and more information should be provided about the cost of preventing infiltration.

There was discussion about the need for the basin, and Aynes noted the Township has now been given an official notice that the plant is in violation in a number of areas, with a response required by March 13th indicating what the Township intends to do to prevent future violations. Willis said the State is stepping up their enforcement in all community regarding stormwater management.

  • Motion carried 5—2 on a roll call vote, Zelenock and Dockett opposed.



2019-10-22 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 9. Request to Create A Retention Basin Survey

  • Motion: Otto moved, Zelenock seconded, to table the request to create a retention basin survey. Motion carried 7—0 on a voice vote.


2019-10-08 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 2. Resolution 19:612: Adoption of 2019 Master Plan

   Board member comments included:

  • On pages 35 and 74 there should be mention of the SAW grant and capital improvements.


2019-08-13 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 4.  Discuss Equalization Basin Design Engineering Options

  • Motion: Chockley moved, Otto seconded, to proceed with using Tetra Tech for Engineering Services related to the design and construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Equalization Basin subject to Board and Township Attorney review and approval of the Tetra Tech contract to be submitted to the Board at the next regularly scheduled meeting on August 27, 2019.

The Board discussed the differing views of whether a basin is needed and why. Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent said the basin is needed with or without additional development. He said nearby communities were hit yesterday with 6” of rain and had to release sewage into a river. He said that has not happened here, but if it did they would probably also have to dump untreated sewage. He said they have come close to doing so in the past and have released partially treated sewage.

Aynes reviewed the history of Board consideration of this project, and explained the costs involved. Dockett objected to not putting the engineering work out to bid. Chockley and Otto listed reasons for staying with Tetra Tech.

Chockley referred to information she had provided about direct purchase of bonds from banks. She noted she has been receiving many phone calls expressing interest in development in the Township.

Otto said she has learned that Dundee was recently forced to install a basin after being sued. Chick said she contacted Evan Pratt, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner, about this, who said release of any sewage into the system, even if partially treated, is too much. She recalled that the last WWTP Superintendent also supported construction of a basin.

Willis said the Township’s sewer plant is too small to be high on the MDEQ’s list for enforcement.

Zelenock listed reasons in support of not building a basin including:

  • Tetra Tech has been saying this basin is needed for 30 years, yet the plant has been running without it.
  • Existing customers would have to pay for this, rather than new customers.
  • This has been the wettest spring in years and the plant has been able to handle the flows.
  • The DEQ indicates the capacity of the plant is sufficient as is.
  • Construction could be more expensive in the current booming economy than later.

She suggested surveying the public ask if they are willing to pay for this or for other things such as keeping the North Village property as a park or for more road improvements. Willis questioned running the WWTP by popular vote.

Otto said delaying infrastructure needs, such as roads and sidewalks, leads to them deteriorating further, and that is not the way to manage the Township assets. Dockett said a basin will not give the plant any additional capacity.

  • Motion carried 4—3 on a roll call vote, Dockett, Zelenock, and Beliger opposed.

Second Call to the Public:

  • Jim Nelson, 7777 Sutton, said the SAW grant report about the condition of the sewer system should be reviewed before making decisions about the sewer system.


2019-05-14 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 3.  Wastewater Treatment Plant Equalization Basin

  • Motion: Otto moved, Chick supported, that the Township move forward with Step 2, retaining an engineering firm, which would be authorized by the Board to start the preparation of preliminary plans and determine the scope of the project and the engineer’s estimate of the cost of the project.
  • There was discussion about the cost of this step and need to follow through before the plans become obsolete. Zelenock said the DEQ told her the Township does not need to consider a basin until the Township is handling 1 million gallons/day, but the current average flow is 700,000 gallons/day. Willis said different engineers and people at the DEQ will give differing opinions, but he believes the basin is needed now,
  • Motion carried 4—3 on a roll call vote, Zelenock, Dockett, and Beliger opposed.

 Agenda Item 5.  Budget for Police, Fire, and Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)

   In answer to questions about the WWTP budget, Aynes said:

  • 10% of his salary and benefits is scheduled to be paid from the WWTP budget.
  • The $53,000 listed for the SAW grant represents how much the Township expects to receive in reimbursements for the fiscal year.

   Zelenock noted that the salary increases approved by the Board on May 7th need to be updated in the proposed budget.

   In answer to a question, Willis said due to the recent rains they had 4-5 days of flows over 1.3 million gallons/day and they are still seeing flows of 1 million gallons/day.


2019-04-23 Regular Board meeting minutes

  • Motion to amend: Dockett moved, Manley supported, to add a discussion and vote on the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Motion to amend failed, 3—4 on a voice vote, Otto, Chockley, Chick, Zelenock opposed.
  • Original Motion carried 7—0 on a voice vote.Motion: Zelenock moved, Otto supported, that the Wastewater Treatment Plant equalization basin be on the next Board agenda. Motion carried 7—0 on a voice vote.


2019-03-26 Regular Board meeting minutes

PRESENTATIONS AND UPDATES Equalization Basin: Presentation of Key Points and Opportunity for Community Feedback

Chockley gave a brief presentation about the history of the wastewater treatment plant, noting it was built in 1961, and addition of a retention basin was recommended in 1988 and 2005. She reviewed the history of times when partially treated effluent was released from the plant in times of high wet weather flow. She also reviewed the rate history, including system development charges, and noted that typical plant flows are approaching the maximum level allowed by the DEQ before expansion is required. She said the current issue is whether and when to build an equalization basin and described the bonding process for such an improvement.

The Board, staff, and consultants answered questions submitted from the public present and made comments, including:

  • Development of the downtown area is difficult because of the physical limitations of US-23, the lake, and the Livingston County border. There is an existing Downtown Strategic Action Plan. Development of the North Village park could help revitalize the downtown.
  • There are currently 3374 unmetered REUs in the sewer district and about 20 metered users.
  • A sewer asset management plan is being developed using a Michigan Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater (SAW) grant, which will be completed next year.
  • Sufficient sewer infrastructure is needed to maintain what currently needs to be served, and without an adequate system developers will not consider the Township. There is sufficient capacity to allow for a vibrant downtown (150-200 REUs available). The township attorney says there is no legal obligation to meet future demand now, and the DEQ has said current flows could be increased to 1 million gallons/day without improvements (including the basin), and the plant has not been cited for permit violations. Lack of critical mass of residents is a hindrance to downtown development. The Township must meet the requirements of the DEQ permit, the requirements of all court orders (including a 2002 order to install a retention basin), and the requirements of all agreements with neighboring Townships.
  • Township Engineer Brian Rubel said improvements to the sewer system are paid for by the sewer utility from cash on hand, connection fees, developer agreements, and quarterly fees.
  • Bond Counsel Steve Mann said it would not be legal to charge anyone, including developers, more than their proportional share of use of the sewer system, including a retention basin.
    Members of the public made comments, including:
  • Gregg Gillespie, 436 North Point Drive, objected to existing residents paying for any of the cost of development.
  • Robert Marks, 8748 Main Street, said the Township has chased away potential development, and a retention basin would be less expensive than a retention tank. Chockley said there will be a point at which development cannot be allowed without construction of a basin or tank, and the Township has a choice of doing this on its own schedule or when mandated by the State.
  • Adam Olney, 9315 Lakewood Court, said regardless of public opinion the Township Board has legal obligations to fulfill, including not to allow flows to bypass the wastewater treatment plant, and one instance of flow bypassing treatment is too many.
  • Mary Devlin, 9211 Brookside Drive, said she is in favor of delaying both the replacement of the sewer line and construction of the basin.
  • Dale Brewer, 11548 East Shore Drive, Green Oak Township, said the Township does not have a full capital improvement plan, a sewer rate study, or sufficient sewer reserves which are all required to support construction of a basin. [Steven Mann clarified there are no reserve requirements for capital improvement bonds, unlike revenue bonds].
  • James Trunko, 9255 Trunko, Lakewood Drive, objected to untreated flows bypassing the plant, and said the cost is worth the investment in a basin.
  • Faith Wheeler, 371 Grove, said the high school and Public Safety Building were built before there was sufficient population to pay for them, and she doesn’t want that to happen with construction of a sewer retention basin.
  • Dana Forester, 9255 Lakewood, said the Township should not contribute to the pollution of the Huron River by allowing flows to bypass the plant. [Willis explained that bypassed flows sometimes include higher phosphorus and fecal counts, and this is illegal because it is a violation of the plant permit].
  • John Orin, 9144 Walnut Drive, objected to Green Oak residents being served by the sewer system.
  • In answer to a question from Mike Cicchella, 7789 Sutton, Willis said more sewage will not be treated with a retention basin in place, rather it will be treated more completely. Cicchella cautioned against
  • depending on future development to finance a basin.
  • David Gordon, 5558 Hellner Road, said constructing the basin would be a sewer tax, and there is no financial analysis showing that incurring that debt will revitalize the downtown. He said the sewer plant is not creating pollution, the DEQ has not issued violations, the plant has plenty of capacity, expansion needs to pay for new development, and the money should be spent on creating a waterfront park to attract more residents.
  • Kittie Burkhart, 6187 Nollar, said she is not on the sewer system, but she is concerned about the entire Township being responsible for the debt of a retention basin.
  • Mary Anderson, 600 Six Mile, said there has been no growth in the Township in the 20 years.
  • Ginny St. Charles, 374 Dartmoor, questioned the financing of the project.
  • Kathy Nelson, 7777 Sutton Road, said the proposed revision to the Master Plan has specific information about sewer expansion which is very good, and adopting that document would help quell rumors about what development will be allowed.
  • Craig Warburton, 450 W. Joy Road, said the peak flows seem to be intermittent and not significant, the Township seems more interested in being ready for development than preserving open space, and he is concerned about all Township residents being responsible for the debtJim Nelson, 7777 Sutton Road, said evidence shows residential development does not pay for itself.
  • Kathy Braun, 316 E. Shore Drive, said she thinks a retention basin will be needed some day, but not now, and she is concerned about the cost. She said the Township should spend money on other things, such as bike paths, and find development opportunities for the community.
  • In answer to questions from Harrison Parker, 366 Ivy Lawn, Willis said in his opinion the retention basin is needed now, regardless of new development, and significant new development would require expansion of the plant. Mann said payment of tap fees could probably legally be required from a developer up front.
  • The Board thanked the public for their participation, and made comments, including: Chick questioned how an increase of $24/quarter in sewer fees can be reconciled with polluting the area rivers.
  • At Chockley’s request members of the public indicated their position on an equalization basin (16 in favor—all on the sewer system; 28 opposed--16 of them not on the sewer system, 3 unsure)
    In answer to questions, Engineer Brian Rubel said the least expensive design for a retention basin or tank would be used.
  • Several Board members said sufficient, consolidated information about the options, including financial analysis is needed.

Chockley recessed the meeting for five minutes.

Chockley noted there were many communications from residents about the retention basin, and the surveymonkey.com survey about budget priorities will close on Thursday.


2019-03-12 Regular Board meeting minutes

Agenda Item 1a.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Report

  • In answer to a question, Aynes explained that he submitted a claim to the Township’s insurance company for the deductible on a homeowner’s policy for sewer clean-up that was the fault of the Township. Aynes said small claims of this type do not affect premiums significantly; Dockett disagreed.
  • Dockett said the average daily flows at the sewer plant indicate there is not a capacity problem. Superintendent Willis said the problem is days of heavy rain which results in stormwater infiltration. Beliger said several stormwater inlets on East Shore are hazards; Manley asked that this be passed on to the County. 


2019-01-08 regular Board meeting minutes final                                         Watch Livestreamed 1-8 Meeting Video

Agenda Item 7. Review and Discuss Documents from the December 11, 2018 Special Board Meeting Concerning Wastewater Treatment Contracts

Township Attorney Burns reviewed the history of the Wastewater Treatment Plant from the 1970s, including:

  • A 1972 lawsuit filed by Lakeland property owners resulted in the plant permit being modified to allow the plant to increase discharge to 250,000 gallons/day, and that was increased in 1979 to 700,000 gallons/day.
  • In 1991 by court order the capacity was increased to 1,300,000. Hamburg Township was allowed additional capacity if it opted to, but it did not.
  • In 2002 the capacity was increased to 2.25 million gallons/day.
  • In 2004 the Township agreed to sell 200,000 gallons/day for a specific geographic area of Green Oak Township, with them being obligated to pay for taps at the rate in effect at the time of purchase.

Willis said the last plant expansion was in 1998 to increase the capacity to 1.3 million gallons.


Chockley noted inquiries are coming in regarding possible small residential projects, but with the improvements to US-23 there may also be interest in larger developments. Burns said the issue of whether to build a retention basin is a policy decision, not a legal one. He said a sufficient revenue stream would be required to cover the capital costs of a basin; it is easier to sell bonds if there are more connection fees.


Willis said in his opinion a basin is needed only for wet weather conditions, and this is the least expensive way to increase capacity for growth. The cost and where the funding would come from was discussed. Willis said every municipal sewer system has to deal with storm water infiltration, and there is no realistic way to stop that infiltration.


The need to get public input and the legal requirement to send a postcard for any borrowing of $250,000 or more was discussed. It was agreed to set a public hearing for the March 26th Township Board meeting. 

2018-12-11 regular Board meeting minutes final                                          Watch livestreamed 12-11 meeting video here    part 2

Aynes referred to his written report and added that the Wastewater Treatment Plant will continue to be a subject of concern and discussion going into 2019. He noted that the recent sewer fee increase was the first since 2014 and covers only operating expenses, not future improvements.

2018-10-09 regular Board meeting minutes final                                         Watch livestreamed 10-9 meeting video here

Agenda Item 6. Adjust Metered Sewer Rates Effective November 1st Filling 

Liason Reports: Dockett said he did not make the statement in a memo from Chockley (that he said untreated sewage by-passed the sewer plant).

2018-09-25 regular Board meeting minutes final                                         Watch livestreamed 9-25 meeting video here

Agenda Item 1.

North Village development: comments: "Are residents aware this development will come with an $8-$9 million sewer bill?"

"The Township would be incurring $8-$9 million in sewer expenses for 50 parking spaces and 6 acres of parkland, which is very sad."

2018-08-28 regular BOT meeting minutes final                                         Watch livestreamed 8-28 meeting video here

Agenda Item 4. Sewer Billing Quarterly Fee Increase Recommended to Support Base Level Operations

2018-08-14 regular BOT meeting minutes final                                         Watch livestreamed 8-14 meeting video here

Agenda Item 9. Sewer billing quarterly fee increase

2018-07-24 regular BOT meeting minutes final                                         Watch livestreamed 7-24 meeting video here

Agenda Item 1. Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Equalization Basin And Associated System Development Charges and Quarterly Fee Increase.   Quarterly sewer service fee increase.

2018-07-10-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                        Watch livestreamed 7-10 meeting video here

Agenda Item 8. System Development Charge (Connection Fee) and Quarterly Wastewater Treatment Fee Increase


Agenda Item 10: Bills 

2018-03-27-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                       Watch livestreamed 3-27 TetraTek Presentation video here

PRESENTATION 1. Sewer Service Rate Study Results

Brian Rubel, Vic Cooperwasser: Tetr-Tech

2017-12-12-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                       Watch livestreamed 12-12 meeting video here

Agenda Item 4. Asset Management Plan Contract , Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater (SAW) grant

2017-10-10-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                       Watch livestreamed 10-10 meeting video here

Agenda Item 2. TetraTech “SmartRate Study” Proposal

2017-08-29 regular BOT meeting minutes final                                        Watch livestreamed 8-29 meeting video here

Township Manager Report. Aynes reported that he received notice today that the Township has been awarded a SAW (Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater) grant from the State of Michigan.

2017-08-15-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                       Watch livestreamed 8-15 meeting video here

Agenda Item 1. Tetra Tech “SmartRate” Study Proposal 

Sewer connection fee increase to $5973

2017-07-25-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                       Watch livestreamed 7-25 meeting video here

Agenda Item 1 Update of Wastewater Cost of Service “SmartRate” Study from Tetra Tech 

2017-03-28-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-joint-PC-final                         Watch livestreamed 3-28 meeting video here

Agenda Item 2 Sewer System Interceptor Flow Monitoring Proposal 

$595,000 SAW Grant application status

2017-03-14-regular-BOT-meeting-minutes-final                                       Watch livestreamed 3-14 meeting video here

PRESENTATION 1. Sewer Service Policy 

2017-03-14-special-BOT-meeting-minutes-public-version-final               Watch livestreamed 3-14 special meeting video here

Present at this closed session, for an undisclosed reason:

  • Township Bond Counsel Steve Mann, Miller Canfield
  • Township Engineer Brian Rubel, Tetra Tech