HOUGHTON – More electric vehicle charging stations are coming to Houghton.
Two Chargers are expected to be delivered by the end of next week, Houghton City Manager Eric Waara said at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. They will be located on the parking decks across from Downtown and the Ambassador.
Waara said the pitches met several requirements: electricity available, defined parking and level ground.
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy awarded a grant of $109,000 earlier this year. Having the chargers along a main line was also a goal of EGLE, Waara said.
The Department of Public Works and Upper Peninsula Power Co. will each carry out site preparation. The city is calling for tenders for electrical work.
A charging station is already in place on the east parking deck of Lakeshore Drive behind the Douglass branch. Future plans call for two more chargers, both on the Ambassador Bridge.
Waara also briefed the council on the jetty project. Lot 2 near the Portage Lake District Library will be used by MJO for approximately one month beginning May 9. MJO will install storm sewers.
An alternate design is required for the east end of the pier to avoid AT&T cables crossing the Portage Channel. A dive team for AT&T found the location of the cables earlier this winter; uncharted cables caused construction delays.
“It’s going to cost money for this alternative design”, Waara said. “It’ll be the same end product, but we’re going to have to build it a little differently to get around those.”
The additional cost is still unknown. A contingency has been built into the offer, Waara said.
The city is also working with UP Engineers & Architects to resolve a recurring issue with Dee Stadium’s lakeside sidewalk between the stadium and the National Park Service headquarters. Waara also sought fundraising resources to address long-term waterfront issues stemming from wooden piers.
“You look in front of Dee Stadium, there are wooden encasements and wooden pillars – very stable, but for how long?” he said.
Houghton also received a Match on Main grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) for Keweenaw Coffee Works, which will open another site in Houghton.
Michigan Technological University Research Assistant Professor Melanie Kueber Watkins also received an EGLE grant to update the Huron Creek watershed plan, which was last completed in 2009. The plan could lead to recommendations for further improvements, which could lead to funding for improvement in the area. . The city will also benefit from a plan that incorporates lessons learned from the Father’s Day flood, Waara said.
In other actions, the council:
– Approved up to $20,000 for consideration for investigative assistance related to a US Army Corps of Engineers Stormwater Study Grant.
– Scheduled a joint Council, Planning Commission and Town Center Development Authority meeting for June 1 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will include a report from the MTEC SmartZone and a discussion of the removal of the Lakeshore Drive parking deck and the future of the site.
— Rescheduled June meeting dates to June 15 and 29. The city’s budget must be passed by June 15, while Waara will be on vacation the week of June 20, when the council would normally hold its second June meeting.
– Approved up to $41,000 to purchase new controllers for Dee Stadium. The current controllers date from 1996. One had failed, leaving the city to operate the rink with only one this winter. The $41,000 bid includes a contingency in addition to the $39,700 quote.