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Local News

Watson Drain project anticipated time line given

At an informational meeting Saturday on the Watson Drain project, the Barry County Drain Commissioner’s office passed out a timeline and flow chart for the project that was updated in March of this year.

 

Officials project that from late March into summer, they will install a Piezometer, conduct a groundwater monitoring study and take aquatic vegetation surveys and water quality samples in spring and late summer, all required by EGLE (formerly the DEQ) for a permit. During that time they will take a site walk of the proposed north and south routes with EGLE officials.

 

They estimate that by July, they will make a determination of a drain route and solution for flood water and prepare a surveying, preliminary design and EGLE permit application, likely to take a month.

 

They plan to submit the permit in September and anticipate a response from EGLE for corrections of the permit application. An EGLE permit involves a review and a public notice, taking from four to six weeks. A public hearing on the EGLE permit applications will take about four weeks.

 

At the same time, initial discussions with landowners for easements and land acquisition will begin, expected to take six months.

 

Land acquisition and obtaining easements and obtaining the final design will start in December, with the best case forecast of four months to compete in April 2020 or worst case, in June 2021.

When they get the EGLE permit, they will let bids. Bids will be opened, and a contractor selected.

 

A day of review of apportionments may take up to seven to 10 days after bid opening; a time is then set for appeal of apportionments. 

If there are no appeals, the Drain Commissioner Jim Dull will ask Barry County Board of

Commissioners to pledge the county’s full faith and credit for bonding, which will take up to two weeks. The process of financing a 20-year bond will take another four to five weeks.

 

The estimated construction time is six to 18 months.

Best case of obtaining easements: begin construction in September, 2020.

Worst case for easements: begin construction in November of 2021.

 

 

 

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