City approves sewer improvements

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — By the end of the year resident’s in the neighborhood of Plum Avenue near the intersection of Eureka and Telegraph will get long-awaited relief from sanitary sewer issues.

During its Sept. 4 meeting, the city council unanimously approved a nearly $1 million sanitary sewer improvement project through funds obtained via a state grant.

Mayor Joseph Kuspa said the project has been several years in the making.

“One of the things we’ve been looking at over the past few years has been how to improve the infrastructure,” Kuspa said. “We also need to prepare for the future.”

Kuspa said the state of Michigan made available a P2 grant, with eligibility being the need for long-term benefits, neighborhood restoration and other qualifiers.

The grant, Kuspa said, allowed the investigative work needed to determine the city’s infrastructure priorities.

“We chose that one,” Kuspa said. “Historically that neighborhood and system have experienced issues in the past.”

The contract was awarded to Brighton-based CI Contracting, which submitted the lowest of five bids for the project, which will replace a portion of the relief sewer and is expected to cost approximately $969,000, funds that are available in the city’s water and sewer capital and municipal street funds. A new sewer line will divert flow within the system and alleviate overloads that have been an issue. About half of Plum Avenue will be replaced during the project.

Kuspa said the city has made significant gains in recent years with attracting investment and new businesses, but must remain focused on the foundation.

“Infrastructure’s been a focus of my administration,” Kuspa said. “It represents an asset improvement to that neighborhood. It’s not something that just happens. We actively pursue those things that will enhance our long-term viability.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at