City to aid Ford River Township in water emergencies

ESCANABA – An agreement between Escanaba and Ford River Township will allow the city to assist the township in water emergencies and also save tax dollars while meeting state revenue requirements.

Escanaba City Council approved the service agreement between the two municipalities during its regular meeting Thursday.

The city water department can respond to emergencies and non-emergencies in the township when needed, such as a water main break, explained Escanaba’s Water/Wastewater Superintendent Jeff Lampi.

City water employees have assisted the township in the past with water system emergencies, Lampi noted.

The document approved by council Thursday outlines the mutual benefits to both parties and spells out the legal aspects of the agreement.

When city water employees assist the township, Escanaba will be reimbursed for labor and material costs. In addition, the city will not be liable for property damage or personal injury.

City Manager Jim O’Toole noted that the mutual agreement will apply as a collaborative effort for the two municipalities in meeting the state’s revenue requirements.

In order to receive annual state funding, government units are required to participate in cooperative programs with other municipalities to save taxpayer money.

In other action Thursday, council approved a one-year contract with Midwest Employers Casualty Company for $40,003 to provide excess insurance for workers compensation.

Council also approved a low bid of $72,494 from Payne and Dolan Inc. of Gladstone to do street paving as budgeted in the upcoming fiscal year.

During committee updates, Mayor Leo Evans informed council that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is requiring the landfill to build a wind retention wall to prevent trash from blowing off the property.