City moves toward final steps for CAP program

MANISTEE — The wet weather Corrective Action Plan (CAP) program is now reaching its final stretch, as Manistee City Council unanimously approved a contract with Spicer Group to complete the CAP program for $772,000 on Tuesday night.

Council approved an ordinance on Oct. 17, to issue water and sewer revenue bonds to allow the city to remove the last combined sewer overflow (CSO), which is the goal of the CAP program. Council approved the ordinance for the bonds at a vote, 7-0, in any amount not to exceed $4 million.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which was effective Jan. 1, includes the completion of the CAP program. The city eliminated all but one of the existing CSOs, where illegal water was getting into the sewer system.

Jeff Mikula, Manistee Department of Public Works director, said this is a 20-year sewer separation process. He said the final CSO is the most difficult to eliminate.

Within the costs approved at the city council meeting on Tuesday, contractors will create a CAP plan, submit status reports and complete a basis of design for the final capital projects.

The CAP program includes two phases, the first one involves finishing studies and modeling to determine the final construction project, along with sewer system upgrades to reduce areas of inflow and infiltration; and phase two includes the construction of a storage basin, which size and scope would be determined in phase one.

Shawn Middleton, principal municipal services for Spicer Group, said the amount could be less than $772,000; the final cost is unknown at this time.

“All of this work goes with coming up with the appropriate solution to construct a project that will have to be completed in two-years to eliminate CSO 18,” said Middleton. “It’s likely the amount could be less than (the budgeted cost), but I do not want to short myself.”

During the meeting, council members also approved the following items:

  • A Medical Marijuana Facilities Ordinance, which allows state licensed medical marijuana grow facilities and processors to operate within parameters of the city; and
  • An amendment to the Chapter 411 Michigan Vehicle Code to add a provision allowing the city to charge an individual under the Super Drunk Driving Law. The ordinance calls for criminal prosecution for violations of the vehicle code when the offense has a maximum imprisonment of 93 days or less, and the subject operates a vehicle with a BAC of .17 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, or more.

Also on Tuesday, Heather Pefley, deputy clerk, was given the city charter’s oath of office by Mayor Jim Smith. Pefley is succeeding Michelle Wright, who was the city clerk for 15 years. Wright plans to retire on Friday, when Pefley will take over the position.

A deputy clerk will then be selected to fill Pefley’s former position.

Council members said final words to Wright before the meeting ended, and welcomed Pefley to the position.

“Michelle, I hope you enjoy your retirement, I know everyone is going to miss you,” said council member Lynda Beaton. “I am looking forward to working with Heather… I think she will do very well.”

At the end of the meeting, council members joined Smith to honor Wright, along with Jim Polisky, with the Manistee Department of Public Works, who also plans to retire. Polisky began his career with the city in the ’70s, and was known for his work with Christmas decoration engineering for the city.

Polisky’s last day is also on Friday.

Both were congratulated by council; however, Polisky was not able to be in attendance for the meeting. Jeff Mikula, DPW director, stood in his place.

“During that 40-year tenure, Jim Polisky demonstrated outstanding capabilities,” said Smith. “Jim Polisky worked quietly behind the scenes fulfilling his duties in a professional manner.”

A work session is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 in the council chambers at City Hall, as the council will discuss the Quarterly Strategic Plan updates, state of the streets report, curbside recycling and other business.



Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or

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