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Schoolcraft village hears infrastructure estimates

By Rob Peterson

The Schoolcraft Village Council invited Tom Wheaton of Prein & Newhoff, the village’s engineering consultants, to talk about infrastructure at the December meeting.

Its primary concern: the 360 water service lines that contain lead, which must be replaced by 2040 according to a state mandate. Wheaton estimates that the cost of this project will be $2.5-3 million.

If the village were to install a sewer system, it would add $10-12 million to the price tag.

“If you’re doing lead service line replacement, you’ll be tearing up the roads,” the engineer said, suggesting that there would be value in coordinating the projects.

There will likely be funds for drinking water and sewer systems in the recently passed federal infrastructure bill, Wheaton added. He said that the funds will primarily come in the form of low-interest, long-term loans.

In other action, the village council again covered the cost of utilities for Eagle’s Nest, which houses the Schoolcraft Friday Pack and the Food Pantry. Expected utility costs are $2,040 for the 2022 calendar year. The council invited it to return for more funding if energy costs exceed that amount.

Schoolcraft Village became the latest municipality to reject approval of the South County Fire Authority budget.

Village manager Cheri Lutz indicated that she has not received a response from the SCFA finance director on questions posed by the village council. “I’m not going to vote for approval of the (fire authority) budget without answers to our questions, and I’m disappointed in their lack of response,” said council member Kathy Mastenbrook.

In a surprise announcement, Village Manager Cheri Lutz said Police Chief Scott Boling submitted his resignation after a year of heading up the police department. She indicated that the village is currently seeking a replacement.

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