Hartland Township officials met with the Livingston County Drain Commissioner for their bi-annual update on the sanitary sewer.

Drain Commissioner Brian Jonckheere led a discussion with the Hartland Township Board of Trustees during the informational portion of their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday night. Hartland is part of the Livingston Regional Sanitary Sewer system, or LRSS, with neighboring Tyrone Township. Jonckheere started with the system’s accomplishments, leading off with the fact that they have continued to increase their percentage of surplus revenues since getting out of the deficit in 2011. This was credited partially to the modernization of their grinder pump fleet.

Hartland Township is currently in year 4 of a 7-year transition period to align fixed and variable user sewer fees with actual expenses. Jonckheere said that sewer users on gravity are likely seeing positive results for their pocketbooks. The flow rate per 1,000 gallons was $7.77 4 years ago. This year it is down to $4.78, and will continue to drop the next 3 years. Offsetting this is the grinder pump fee. That fee has risen $11 in the last 4 years, and will go up another 6 by 2021. One issue Trustee Joe Colaianne had was with the Readiness to Serve Charge raising from $7 in 2014 to $52 in 2021.

The Board also discussed a spike in long-term capital reserve recommendations for the sewer system. The study suggested having $3-million in reserve by 2024, 3 times what they have now. Until an asset management study that is underway is completed, Fountain said they don’t have a really strong idea on just how much they need. He said they’ll know more when it is completed in 3 to 4 month’s time.

Jonckheere said they’ve also completed a capacity study, and focused on a potential chokepoint at Clark Road. It’s good news for users in that area. Jonckheere said they found out they have more time than they thought before backups caused by power failures become a problem. They also learned that the unwanted overflows would drain into roadside ditches, and not basements. (MK)