Plans are in the works to upgrade the DPW complex in the City of Howell.

Designs for the renovations are complete, which will upgrade the facility to make it more efficient and user friendly. The DPW complex is located on the corner of Marion and Michigan Streets, where the wastewater treatment plant and various buildings are located. City Council met Monday night and reached consensus to proceed with going out to bid.

Improvements have been made slowly to the facility over the past five years. Design work is complete for the next phase of improvements, which are said to be extensive and complex. The project will address multiple deficiencies including inadequate power sources resulting in frequent outages, no public restrooms, outdated and inoperable plumbing, and a 35-year-old residential grade HVAC system. Plans call for expanding the existing area, so no square footage will be added.

Director of Public Services Erv Suida tells WHMI they plan to update the facility to current standards, incorporate a locker room and bathroom for female employees, create some additional office space and make improvements to the electrical system. As for the electrical system, Suida says during the process of reviewing the facility, they noticed the transformer and switch gear location is really improper for what’s out there so it will need to be updated. It’s around a $30,000 expense that was not anticipated but Suida says it’s something that is necessary even if the project weren’t to go through. It was described as a significant piece of equipment that switches over to a generator in the event of power outages.

Staff plans to go out to bid for the project within the next two weeks and contingency costs were built into the proposal. Once bids are received, the project will be back before City Council for potential approval. Photo: Google Street View. (JM)