October 21, 2014

AuGres City Council approves bid for Main Street bike path project

Discusses wind turbines for city buildings

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AuGRES — The AuGres City Council approved a $273,980 bid to create a bike path on Main Street leading from downtown AuGres to the mouth of the AuGres River.

City Manager Pat Killingbeck said the money will come from the $750,000 Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant that the city received in January and the winning bid went to Katterman Trucking.

“The path will connect to all downtown facilities,” she said.

Killingbeck said the path will connect from US-23 to Main Street.

“This will allow for a safe place to people to move around town,” she said.

Killingbeck said this is a continuation of a project the city of AuGres is using the MEDC grant for.

The addition of the path is part of a number of improvements added to South Main Street. Construction included the enclosing of a ditch on the east side of the road, and replacing the underground storm system. Now, with that project completed, the bike path can be constructed.

“The project will include the path, lighting, and landscaping,” she said.

Another project, using the MEDC grant, will involve roadwork at the intersection of S. Court Street and South Stree, and is expected to start this fall.

Killingbeck said the sanitary sewer force main will be replaced, and ditches will be enclosed, and the underground storm system will be replaced. The street will be resurfaced, and there will be new street lighting and landscaping.

Also discussed at the meeting was the use of wind turbines for certain areas in the city to reduce energy cost. Killingbeck said it was decided that at this time it would not be a cost-effective way to get alternative energy.

Killingbeck said the council looked at the efficiency of adding wind turbines to city locations like the water treatment plant, the wastewater plant, the AuGres Campground, and city hall.

“We looked at combining (turbines) for the facilities, but the problem is that they are not close by,” she said. “We also don’t have property around those areas. So it’s not feasible for us yet. Without a grant, adding wind turbines would not be effective for us.”

She said the turbines the council was looking at are a smaller version of turbines that are used in areas across the state.

“We are just looking to save on energy cost any way we can,” Killingbeck said. “We have supporters here.”

With a projected debt percent of 80 percent for eight turbine locations, an annual debt payment for those locations would total an estimated $222,856 that Killingbeck said the city would have to borrow.

She said the council would not pursue this operation without a grant, and is discussing a number of other ways to use alternative energy.

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