Lowell Twp Board Recap: Splash Pad Bid, Stony Bluff Phase 5

The Lowell Township Board of Trustees had its regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 18th. The board met to discuss the next phase of development in the Stony Bluff subdivision as well as review a bid for a splash pad planned for the North Riverfront Park.

Fire Report

According to Carlton Blough, the township representative for the Lowell Area Fire and Emergency Services Authority Board, during a late August storm, the fire department received 51 calls in an eight hour period. Now, they are at a total of 169 incidents for the month and 115 above the same time last year.

During the storm, a tree fell on the bridge connecting the North and South Riverfront Parks and another went down in a township cemetery. There wasn’t any damage done do the bridge.

Public Comment

During the public comments portion of the meeting, a resident spoke about the allocation of township funds to big projects.

“We seem to be pretty anxious to put together these big projects,” he said, making reference to volleyball courts, pickleball courts and now a splash pad. With the coming of the bridge, he mentioned that there were expenses that “came as surprises.” Added insurance, maintenance and snowplowing were additional costs that resulted from the bridge.

“We are committing the township to maintain, not now, but all the way into the future,” he said. “I think we should be giving more consideration to that.” The resident suggested the board needs to not only focus on funding projects, but also funding maintenance for these projects.

Trustee Mark Anderson replied that there is a subcommittee that is being formed to address maintenance issues, and he would welcome people with insight to help this board.

Adoption of the Preliminary Plat of Stony Bluff Phase 5

A representative of Textile Engineering was present to answer questions about the Stony Bluff phase 5. This is a subdivision located off Foreman Street, and the phase 5 area represents 13 acres of 20 lots.

The planning commission previously approved the go ahead of phase 5.  The area is in the southwest corner of the Stony Bluff development. The board unanimously approved the resolution approving the preliminary plat application.

Discussion of Splash Pad Bid

Next up was discussion of a bid received for the construction of a splash pad in the township. While the splash pad would be located in the North Riverfront Park, the township and the City of Lowell have agreed to share maintenance costs. The township has already secured a grant for the project as well.

However, a bid provided for its construction came in at $595,119. That’s about $150,000 more than the initial construction estimate. Even if a bid of $100,000 less is received, the township will be $50,000 – $75,000 over budget.

“If we decide to do that, then we need to do look for additional funding,” Anderson said.

On the other hand, if the township waits to proceed with the project, the price may go up. The board also discussed how the splash pad would definitely affect the water shortage. At the end of discussion, board members expressed a desire to receive another bid so they can compare prices.

Water Usage

There was a discussion about an increase in water usage locally.

Clerk Monica Burtt mentioned that Harvest Meadows, which is located off Alden Nash Ave. in Vergennes Township, has had a significant increase in water usage. Twin Oaks, a development off Foreman Street, saw a spike in water usage as well. Lowell Township bills Vergennes Township for water in a few neighborhoods which have hooked into Lowell Township water lines.

The meeting adjourned at 7:52pm. The next regular meeting of the Lowell Township Board will be on Monday, October 16, at 7pm in the township hall.

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