Crews from Pamar Enterprises Inc. use a large boom Aug. 31 to maintain a constant pour for the concrete floor of Shelby Township’s new 3.5 million gallon water storage facility.

Crews from Pamar Enterprises Inc. use a large boom Aug. 31 to maintain a constant pour for the concrete floor of Shelby Township’s new 3.5 million gallon water storage facility.

Screenshot provided by Shelby Township


Live web camera shows construction of Shelby’s new water storage facility

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 23, 2021

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Work is moving along on Shelby Township’s new 3.5 million gallon water reservoir, and residents can watch the construction live on the township’s website.

The township announced a new web feature Sept. 10 that provides live access to a construction camera that updates regularly. The camera also gives users an option to view a time-lapse video of the project’s progress.

Lucia Di Cicco, a Shelby Township trustee, said this new facility is an example of a forward-thinking, fiscally responsible decision.

“The residents of Shelby Township are fiercely independent, and this project will stabilize our water costs for the future and reduce our reliance on (the Great Lakes Water Authority) and unforeseen rate hikes,” she said in an email.

Department of Public Works Director Dave Miller said that construction crews poured the floor for the 3.5 million gallon tank Aug. 31.

“Crews had to pour the floor at one time with no stopping, so we had a stream of cement trucks on 24 Mile Road to make sure we did the pour properly. You don’t see that every day,” he said in a press release.

Besides the web camera, users can view video updates on the construction and exterior renderings of the facility, which is located at 11441 24 Mile Road. The township said that heavy rains caused some setbacks, but the water storage facility will be operational before the spring of 2022.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said in the press release that the facility will ensure the township has a reliable emergency water supply.

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees approved the reservoir and pump facility to help mitigate any possible future surges in peak water demand and minimize future wholesale rate increases from the Great Lakes Water Authority. Water infrastructure improvement funds will finance the initial investment of $14 million. The township said that it anticipates the savings in the GLWA wholesale water costs will result in a payback on the initial investment within five years.

The Township Board of Trustees voted to award the construction contract in an amount not to exceed $9,939,050 for the reservoir and pump facility to Pamar Enterprises Inc. at its May 18 meeting. Back on April 20, the board had approved the purchase of a 2.68-acre vacant property on 24 Mile Road for $224,000 on which the new facility will stand.

The project’s approved total cost — including plans, fees and a 10% contingency — is not to exceed $14,079,875.

During the summer of 2020, Shelby Township exceeded its contractual limit for water usage with the GLWA, which is the township’s wholesale water supplier. As a result, the GLWA required the Shelby Township Board of Trustees to change its voluntary irrigation ordinance to a mandatory irrigation ordinance. Under the mandatory ordinance, residents may operate sprinklers connected to the water system only between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Residents with even-numbered addresses may water their lawns only on even-numbered days, and residents with odd-numbered addresses may water their lawns only on odd-numbered days.

The creation of the water storage facility is another action the township is taking to make sure it doesn’t exceed its limit.

“It gives us the flexibility to purchase water at a reduced rate and store it for peak-hour use. It gives us the financial stability to ensure we are not surprised by future wholesale water rate increases from the GLWA. Most importantly, though, it restores our freedom and allows us to remove the mandated irrigation ordinances. Once this facility is complete, our Board will be able to remove the irrigation ordinances that GLWA forced on our community,” Stathakis stated.

Exceeding the limit would be costly, and officials said that residents must comply with the ordinances at this time.

“Failure to reduce our peak-hour water usage, per the GLWA contractual limit, risks significant increases to our wholesale costs from the GLWA of $1.8 million annually. This wholesale increase would result in a mandated increase to our ratepayers of roughly 13% of a household’s water bill, and these increases would last through 2027 and likely never be reduced. Adhering to the mandatory irrigation ordinance is our one chance to avoid these recurring increased rates,” Miller said in the press release.

To view the progress on the water storage facility, visit shelbytwp.org/dpw.

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