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Posted: 01/15/14

Romeo officials say
annexation is out

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Village of Romeo officials don't expect any further development to take place regarding annexation talks with Washington Township.
       During the Jan. 13 Village Board of Trustees meeting, Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said as of Dec. 9 the Karam family has withdrawn its request to annex from Washington Township to bring sewer to its 550 acres of property on 32 Mile Road.
       "I don't think there is really any need for us to go any further on that," she said.
       She said property owners in Armada Township have also withdrawn their request for sewer services. The annexation would've provided the utility to 297 acres of land in the industrial area of the township.
       Village officials said policies state that any requests for sewer services must be handled through an annexation, meaning the village would gain jurisdiction over the land. If annexed, taxes except for special assessments for services like fire would be collected by the village.
       Washington Township officials said they would fight against any annexations Romeo attempted. Supervisor Dan O'Leary said the township would go as far as to prepare ballot proposals to remove Washington from partnerships like Parks and Recreation and the Romeo District Library if the annexations moved forward.
       McLaughlin said the annexations barely moved forward, as the village still needed to determine if the village's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) had the capacity to sustain both the Karam property and the Armada Township property. She said the Armada property alone would've required 225,000 gallons a day.
       "We would've never been able to have enough capacity for the entire township, of which they're planning on building a plant for themselves," she said.
       Washington Township is researching the feasibility of creating its own WWTP in the northern portion of the township to serve areas that don't have sewer. O'Leary has said the WWTP would serve current and future developments like those along Van Dyke from 29 Mile Road to 32 Mile Road.
       Refinanced bonds
       The village is moving ahead with refinancing its 2004 sewer bonds to save on payments. In July 2013, trustees voted to have Bendzinski and Co. refinance general obligation bonds that paid for improvements to the WWTP. The resolution stated if the gross savings would be $350,000 or more the bonds could be issued.
       At the Jan. 13 meeting, McLaughlin said Bendzinski and Co. reported the latest figures show a savings of $355,000. The refinance will not extend the payments, which will end in 2028. Village officials requested Bendzinski and Co. provide the net savings after fees and the amounts of the new payments.
       WWTP repairs
       The village is going to pay an estimated $20,000 to $25,000 to repair one of three boilers in the WWTP. Al LaPeer, WWTP superintendent, said water was leaking from the burner assembly, and upon inspection the boiler was suffering from corrosion. To make the repairs, tubing was replaced and a smoke box must be made by hand to replace the old one.
       "We don't really know why we got the corrosion that we did," he said.
       He said funding for the repairs will come from the maintenance fund, and the WWTP will have to "be very, very careful the rest of the year." He said the repairs should be completed within the next month.


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