October 25, 2014

Budd Drain construction to begin by June

Posted

            ARENAC COUNTY — The Budd Drain’s long-overdue maintenance and cleaning is expected to start by the first of June, according to Arenac County Drain Commissioner Larry Davis.

            The last time the Budd Drain was cleaned was 1928. The project will include removing trees and debris from the drain’s banks, sediment from the bottom of the drain, and reshaping the banks.

            The work on the drain, which runs through Bay and Arenac counties in Lincoln, Pinconning and Standish townships, came in a total cost of about $426,000. Davis and Bay County Drain Commissioner Joseph Rivet had originally expected it to cost $700,000 to be cleaned all the way to Saginaw Bay, though the approved project will stop short of the water, as the drain is not in as bad a shape there.

            Construction itself accounts for $289,086 of the cost, with the rest going into permits, engineering, inspections, attorney fees, and contingency planning, among other line items.

            Davis said the day of review for property owners impacted by the drain passed without a hitch, and barring any last minute appeals, the drain offices will proceed with the work.

Drain commissioners look to reduce costs for Budd cleaning, click here

            “We have a target date of beginning work on the first of June,” Davis said. “The contract with the contractor says they have to be done by October, but I expect it to take about a couple months after work gets started.”

            Arenac County will pay 73 percent of the cost, while the remaining 27 percent is paid for by Bay County directly. Arenac County will be receiving a loan from Bay County for the work, which will be paid off over a 10 year period, Davis said. The money to pay it back will come from drain assessments.

            There is an interest rate of 3.5 percent on assessments, which will kick in May 22, according to Drain Office Clerk Nancy Selle. She said property owners have the opportunity to prepay their assessment at any time to reduce the amount of interest included in their bills, and prepayment in general will help reduce the county’s principal loan and interest rate.

Budd Drain cleaning moved forward, click here

            About $100,000 of the money being used will go toward replacing culverts with new tubes, Davis said, with the rest going directly toward construction and cleanup. In February, project engineer Ron Hansen said due to the poor condition they were in, many of the culverts could not be cleaned without collapsing. As a result, they are being replaced.

            The counties will not be working on a portion of the drain east of Sandy Drive along the bay, as it would require sediment testing and permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Not working on that portion of the drain shaves about $18,000 off the initial project cost.

            The drain commissioners were also able to save another $20,000 in engineering and surveying thanks to a 2-percent grant from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe received in November.

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