City to vote on hiring a company to monitor the dam, adopt healthier drinking culture plan

With the FishPass project on hold due to an ongoing litigation, Traverse City commissioners will vote tonight (Monday) to hire an engineering company for nearly $ 135,000 to monitor the Union Street dam for security risks. The commissioners will also vote on the formal adoption of the strategic plan for a healthier drinking culture and the approval of contracts with external companies for the redesign of the city’s website and the provision of engineering plans. for the relocation of a sanitary sewer line crossing downtown Traverse City.

Union Street Dam monitoring
Commissioners will vote tonight to approve a contract of up to $ 134,600 with consulting engineer AECOM to monitor the Union Street dam. According to city utility manager Frank Dituri, due to pending litigation in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the planned $ 19.3 million reconstruction of the dam as part of the FishPass project “is delays which are beyond the control of the city and currently have no determinable length. Dituri notes that a recent state inspection of the dam “downgraded the dam’s rating to fair to poor” and that “to continue to maintain public safety, it is necessary to hire the services of a consultant. engineering to monitor the condition of the dam. “

AECOM is the reference design team for the FishPass project and “spent a lot of time and effort collecting and interpreting the data to design the entire project, including the dam,” according to Dituri, who states that “the expertise and familiarity of the company with this project makes it the best choice to provide monitoring services. If the contract is approved, one of the first tasks of AECOM will be to conduct a topographic survey of the dam and install 10 to 15 markers on the dam to monitor and track movement and settlement. Since the capacity of the dam spillway has been found to be insufficient under Michigan’s dam safety regulations, AECOM will explore options such as lowering the dam cofferdams prior to storms to alleviate the insufficient capacity of the spillway. “Changes in the structural design will not be taken into account, but reduction in capacity due to plugging or closure of the fish ladder will be considered,” according to the AECOM proposal.

Other tasks will include monitoring the health of mature trees along the river embankment, which present risks associated with pipeline routes along tree-route systems and the potential for losing a section of embankment if a tree grave. The state inspection report noted that “all trees should be removed from the embankments to the abutments.” AECOM recommends leaving trees in place until FishPass status is resolved, but will monitor the health of the trees over the next several months and recommend their timely removal if they show signs of deterioration or if FishPass is. delayed indefinitely.

Other monitoring services planned by AECOM will include the performance of a three-day dive inspection of the submerged parts downstream and upstream of the structure, as well as the assessment of concrete areas that show significant deterioration and the recommendation either immediate repairs “or repairs once the future FishPass is resolved, or if the delay exceeds 12 months. AECOM will make similar recommendations as to whether immediate repairs are needed to fill the gaps in the dam sheet piles. Overall, the company said it would “conduct quarterly monitoring of the dam and provide instructions to city staff for more frequent monitoring” for next year to try to stay on top of any immediate repairs or security risks to the structure until there is more clarity around the future of FishPass.

Strategic plan for a healthier drinking culture
City commissioners will vote tonight to officially adopt the Strategic Plan for a Healthier Drinking Culture, a document that outlines short- and long-term actions to be taken by the City of Traverse City, the TC Downtown Development Authority. and the Traverse City Police Department to improve the community. culture surrounding alcohol consumption. The plan is the result of a multi-month public consultation process that included a community survey that generated 1,130 responses and several focus groups and one-on-one interviews with liquor licensees, business owners, employees and health professionals.

After reviewing a draft plan with Commissioners last month, consulting firms Statecraft and Parallel Solutions have made several changes to create the final recommended plan that Commissioners will vote on tonight. These changes include the addition of more “positive language”, noting that the community “has the opportunity to build on its strengths and opportunities and improve its culture of drinking”. The final draft also notes that although many actions are recommended that public and private sector partners could help implement or support, the document was specifically created for the city, DDA and TCPD and that “actions are adapted to what these three public agencies are. best positioned to implement with existing capacities and resources.

In addition to previously identified actions such as updating Traverse City liquor license orders and licensing processes, developing a policy for tour operators, and improving lighting and security cameras in the city center, new steps in the final version include the integration of the strategic plan into the city master plan. update and consultation with Grand Traverse County on how “the Grand Traverse County Health Department and the District Attorney’s Office want to be involved in the healthier drink culture project in the future and on the potential roles that each entity could play ”.

City contracts
Commissioners tonight will vote on approving two additional contracts with outside firms – one for the redesign of the city’s website and one for the provision of engineering services for a relocation project of a main sewer. After issuing a RFP for the city’s website redesign, a committee reviewed and interviewed potential suppliers from among 17 submitted bids. Staff recommend hiring Traverse City-based company Flight Path Creative for a cost of $ 28,500, plus $ 600 per year for storage / access for five years and up to $ 5,000 per year for support Development. According to the call for tenders, the city “is looking to develop a new service-oriented website with a unique design for ease of navigation that demonstrates our special community and brand identity for future communication. “.

Commissioners will also consider hiring the Hubbell, Roth & Clark Company to provide engineering services for a 24-inch sanitary sewer line relocation project along the river between Union and Cass streets in Block 100. from Front Street. Moving the pipe south into the aisle away from the wall will reduce the risk of catastrophic sewer failure that could occur if the retaining wall were to tip or shift. According to the director of municipal utilities Art Krueger, “site conditions between the wall and the sidewalk have deteriorated at an alarming rate with increasing problems of settlement and unstable sidewalks.” A business in Block 100 has had a sewer service outage, and the area is showing “an increase in settlement, increasing concerns,” Krueger said.

With the city having recently approved state funding to carry out repairs to water infrastructure, including the retaining wall and the sewer line, Krueger recommends that the city “move quickly” to complete the plans. engineering to move the pipe, with construction possible in spring 2022, then stabilization of the river wall in block 200 between Cass and Park streets since the sewer will remain along the wall in this area. This stabilization project could take place next fall. Krueger says the block 100 wall could also be stabilized, or the city could choose to remove it entirely as part of a possible redevelopment of the area’s green spaces as part of the Lower Boardman River Unified Plan.

Pictured: Union Street Dam site before FishPass was built (left); site rendering with FishPass built (right)

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