By Sue Moore
Every month since last fall, Ken Schippers, Vicksburg’s village manager, has been asked to report on the progress of the village sewer lift station being rebuilt at the foot of Michigan Avenue and W Avenue to the tune of $550,000.
Finally he was able to tell the council that the many months of construction work on the pumping station was ready for a turn of the switch from the first lady of Vicksburg, Carolyn Adams, wife of Village President Bill Adams. She had been interested in the project, constantly quizzing Schippers for information. He figured she would be the best one to make things flow and with the touch of a button, all the sewage in Vicksburg was pouring through the new forced main on March 20.
Having the new system online should reduce the village’s Department of Public Works (DPW) maintenance time significantly, Schippers said. The previous system that was installed in 1979. Calls reporting problems were frequent. It’s bad when that happens because this is the actual point when every household’s waste meets and begins its trip to the Kalamazoo waste treatment plant, he said.
The two pumps are 25 feet deep in a concrete vat. They can pump a maximum of 220,000 gallons a day, and on average were moving 197,000 gallons for the first few days of operation. That amounts to 694 gallons a minute per pump, as they alternate in service.
The project was financed through 2014 bonds.
Boy Scouts Troop 251 Survey
For its 75th anniversary observance, the Boy Scouts of Troop 251 approached the village on what they could do to make Vicksburg a place where kids of all ages would want to reside. They created a survey, using Google Docs in their social studies class at the Middle School and polled 137 eighth graders about their preferences. To tally the results and present their findings to the council, they had to disregard 52 of the surveys because kids could only choose three of the choices on the list that was provided. Of course they opted for many more than three.
The top results are as follows:
- Bike trail to Portage – 47 votes
- Place to swim – 32 votes
- Movies in the pavilion – 29 votes
- Snowmobile area races – 27 votes
- Gaga pit/trampoline in Clark Park – 27 votes
- McDonald’s or other fast food stand – 25 votes
- Disc golf course upgrades – 20 votes
- Tree house in the Historic Village – 13 votes
- Angel’s Crossing golf lessons/free golf for kids – 11 votes
A write-in vote that amused the council and everyone in the audience was for a “Mountain Dew drinking fountain.” There were other write-in votes, but that one seemed to be the most creative.
EMS and Fire Authority Changes
Village President Adams announced at the council meeting that Tracy McMillan had his position as head of EMS services eliminated due to a budget shortfall and he now serves only as chief of the Fire Authority. He will be located at fire station #2 in the village. Vicki White remains with EMS offices located in back of the hospital.
Water Reliability Study
The state of Michigan has required Vicksburg to complete a water reliability study every five years. Vicksburg is a year late. The estimated cost is $8,000 and Prein & Newhof was authorized by the council to perform the work of determining what water mains need to be replaced and at what cost. Schippers told the council that the west side of the village is served with eight-inch mains since they are fairly recent construction. The older parts of the village are troublesome with four-inch mains in some instances that constantly break.
Mower Request for Angels Crossing Golf Course
Jeff Rohrstaff, Angels Crossing golf pro, requested $18,000 for two mowers to replace the ten year old ones that continually break down after a hard days work on mowing the fairways at the village-owned golf course. He would purchase two used ones for that amount and cannibalize the older ones for parts, hoping to get five or six years of good out of what he proposed to purchase. New ones would cost in the neighborhood of $55,000 to $58,000 for two he told the council. It ultimately approved the purchase even though it wasn’t in the current budget. Jenny McKillop, the treasurer, said the golf course had enough money in its budget to go ahead, since it cannot use any of the general funds of the village.