Home » Local News, Rotating Features

Another possible financial hiccup for jail project

Submitted by on September 25, 2019 – 12:30 amNo Comment

New and higher water tap in fees established by Alpena Township in spring had contractors and others working on the county’s jail project scrambling Tuesday.

The county’s construction management company had budget $2,550 for three 6-inch water taps, or $850 a piece. But under the township’s new fee schedule, the cost is $45,000 or $15,000 for each tap in.

Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski told commissioners Tuesday, that a discussion will be held with the township to see if that price can be lowered. At the same time, engineers are looking into whether the number of tap ins can reduced to two or one.

Township officials say their tap in fee for all pipe sizes was the same at approximately $850 before the new fee schedule was adopted. They said the previous fees were adopted some 40 years ago, and the new schedule was established following a sampling of other water departments in Michigan.

Township officials also say they should have been contacted much earlier in the construction process to go over the plans and that way the construction management team would have known the costs sooner. They were contacted about a month ago.

The jail project had been over budget from the beginning and needed to be scaled back to fit within an $11.4 million cap. That means the budget is tight and any cost overruns cause financial difficulties for both the county and the construction manager.

The city of Alpena would charge approximately $7,000 for the same 6-inch tap in.

The township charges only $2,500 for a 1-inch tap in.