BRIDGMAN — The Bridgman City Council heard an update on the repair of three “gushers” in the city’s sewer system during a brief routine meeting on Monday, Feb. 3.

City Manager Juan Ganum said two of the “gushers” in the city’s sewer system were repaired with new lining that afternoon, but the third site was put on hold after a new video showed that the leak had virtually repaired itself since the last video was taken.

Ganum said this would reduce cost of the project, originally estimated at $13,000.

The “gusher” problem was explained to the council by Public Services Director Tim Kading during the Jan 6 council meeting. The “gushers” were areas where groundwater was flowing into the city’s sanitary sewer at a rate of three to four gallons per minute, resulting in unnecessary, but costly, treatment charges from the Galien River Sanitary District. The problem was identified during studies by Wightman & Associates as part of the state’s Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater (SAW) Grant Program.

In a related matter, Mayor Vince Rose asked that a plan be developed to investigate and correct illegal sump pump hook-ups to the sewer system, another instance of “water going down the drain” at a cost to the city.

Ganum said the city was in contact with those residents identified by recent smoke tests but Rose suggested doing additional testing, perhaps using die.    

From the audience, a new resident of Sunset Landings Apartments who is completely blind described difficulties he has experienced with the crosswalk signals at the Red Arrow Highway and Lake Street intersection.

The resident said he enjoys walking and visiting the local businesses with his guide dog. However, he said the signal directions are not loud enough to be heard over traffic noise, the time for crossing the intersection is too short and he questioned the risk to pedestrians from turning vehicles. Rose assured him the city would see what adjustments can be made.

In his written report, Ganum noted that as part of the process of reclassifying Gast and Baldwin roads from “local” to “major” roads, the city has ordered traffic counts for this spring. He said “major” roads are eligible for state funding.  

Council Member Rick Fuller again asked why the decorative lights on Lake Street are not functioning correctly. Ganum said lights on the trees had been turned off “for safety” until the staff and electrical contractors find a solution for faulty connections.

In response to a question from the audience, Rose said there are no plans by the city to charge for pedestrians to enter Weko Beach, saying, “I could never see doing that, personally.” He did note, however, new rates for camp sites will be on a future agenda.

In the area of personnel, Ganum reported the city will be seeking a water plant operator to replace Alan Mottle, who left after five years with the city. Also, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Sara Ball has posted employment openings on the city’s web site for seasonal staff at Weko Beach and the campground.

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