Signal management

City Approves Fiber Bonding, Plant Management Agreement, Volleyball Sand Replacement

By Beth Milligan | April 5, 2022

Traverse City commissioners voted Monday to approve a bond issue of up to $18.2 million for Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) to expand the remainder of its citywide fiber optic network. city ​​and create a smart city network, which will enable real-time power monitoring. usage and outages and give customers the ability to track and adjust their energy usage. The move comes after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a $14.69 million loan for the projects, with the city committing additional funds to cover drop costs to connect customers to the fiber network. .

TCLP board members voted in March to accept the USDA loan, with city commissioners doing the same on Monday and approving the issuance of bonds to cover project costs. The commission’s vote signals the city’s intention to borrow up to $18.2 million – $14.69 million for network upgrades and an additional $3.5 million for construction costs. fiber drop – and kicks off a 45-day period in which city voters can apply to put the bonds on the ballot. If no petitions are submitted, the final bond documents will be presented to the commissioners in May for clearance, paving the way for work to begin. Monday’s city commission vote noted that TCLP is responsible for project costs “to ensure that city funds are ultimately not vulnerable.” The funding will allow TCLP to extend its fiber system beyond the current downtown Traverse City service radius – where just over 3,200 customers now have fiber access – to the entire city, reaching nearly 8,000 additional customers. The funding will also cover the construction of a smart city grid.

Commissioners also voted to approve a 10-year extension with the Jacobs firm to continue operating and maintaining the city’s sewage treatment plant, which it has done for 32 years. The agreement sets a base fee of $3,007,616 for 2022-23 (an increase from the most recent base fee of $2,837,858) and allows this fee to be renegotiated annually over the next decade. Jacobs will also provide several new value-added services under the contract at no cost to the city, such as hosting annual innovation workshops with industry leaders “to review and discuss specific challenges and opportunities. to continuously improve and advance the city’s wastewater and water. processing operations,” designing and installing at least one charging station at the plant that will become city-owned, updating a 2016 solar study, and providing up to $250,000 in off-field engineering consulting services applicable at a reduced rate.

The commissioners also approved a $34,000 contract with Molon Excavating on Monday to replace sand for the West End volleyball courts. Parks and Recreation Superintendent Michele Hunt wrote that the current sand has been in place on the grounds since the 1980s, with additions over the years, and is ‘too coarse and has become rocky and filled of rubbish. This type of sand is also not suitable for sand volleyball courts and is often too hot and mixed with sharp aggregates causing abrasions to players’ knees, shins and feet. The type of sand chosen is a much finer sand and will make it easier for park staff to mechanically clean and dispose of trash and debris. The contract will cover the cost for Molon to deliver 1,200 meters of new sand. The city’s Utilities Department “will recycle the existing sand and use it for landfill site grading at the composting facility,” according to Hunt.