Re-Vote on Sewer Project Yields Same Result

At its July 5, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council had on its agenda a motion from Mike Anglin (Ward 5) to reconsider a June 20, 2011 vote that it took in awarding a $1,216,100 construction contract to Hoffman Brothers Inc. The project was to relocate a sanitary sewer south of Fuller Road, and east of the Maiden Lane and East Medical Center Drive intersection.

The motion was seconded by Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2) and was unanimously approved for reconsideration. But the re-vote yielded the same result as the vote on June 20, with the council approving the contract on an 8-1 vote. Anglin’s was the dissenting vote.

The project includes moving and replacing an 825-foot, 30-year-old section of 60-inch sanitary sewer pipe. It also includes construction of 525 feet of 24-inch stormwater pipe, as well as construction of 925 feet of new 12-inch water main for service to Fuller Pool. The project will be completed in two phases, the second of which is planned for 2013.

Anglin’s effort to reconsider the motion was based on criticism that the work is being undertaken only because of the planned Fuller Road Station (FRS) in the area – a project  to which he has expressed opposition. [Recent Chronicle coverage of that project: "PAC Gets Update on Fuller Road Station"]

Anglin’s effort came in the context of a memo written to the council by Dietrich Bergmann, a transportation planning engineer, who participated in a 2008 University of Michigan Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation (SMART) conference on the transportation economy. The memo is critical of several aspects of the proposed sewer work, including the idea that 30 years is old for a sanitary sewer: “The city staff has not provided any evidence that the sanitary drain at the site should be moved, absent going forward with the FRS project. The 30-year age issue makes little sense. I suspect that most sanitary sewers in Ann Arbor are older.” [.pdf of Dietrich Bergmann memo]

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]