As reported previously on this website, the quarterly cost to property owners using the Clark Lake sewer system will rise by 49%.  You will see this increase in your next bill from Columbia Township.  The Township explained the reason as the cost to replace failing grinders and to repair the lift stations.

Increases will also impact Lake Columbia and Vineyard Lake, but their replacement costs are less than Clark Lake.  Why?  According to Township Treasurer, John Calhoun, the “Clark Lake system was set up for E1 grinder pumps in 1994.”  Each E1 grinder costs $1,750.  “E1’s are considerably more expensive than Barnes or Meyers pumps that cost slightly more than $900.” 

John Calhoun further explains “Lake Columbia and Vineyard Lakes have their own lift stations separate from the Clark Lake system.  The grinder pumps for Clark Lake were designed as high capacity pumps in the 1990’s when Clark Lake was the only pressurized sewer system in the area and the E1 pumps were state of the art. The other systems utilize Barnes and Meyer pumps that were later designs and less expensive.  Unfortunately, there is no retrofit for the E1 except for the Flyght pump that is over $2,000.  The sewer ordinance adopted in 1994 was structured on a Residential Equivalent Unit basis for uniformity in billing.  A metered system would be the only equitable way to bill, but so far, Leoni Township will not allow for metered billing even though Columbia township billed commercial customers on a metered basis until 2014 when a court ruling ordered us to bill them on the REU basis.”

Here is the letter Columbia Township is sending to sewer customers.

The Township had these graphics created to explain how the money will be spent.