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The community will not have to pay additional costs for us to build this facility. We have saved funds over the last couple of years, because we knew we would need it. This money comes from our Act 51 funds used for snow operations, the Michigan Transportation Fund from gas and registration taxes.
We don't yet know the total cost of the facility, but an early estimate is $1.5 million.
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Our existing road salt facility is at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, on West River Road. We are considering expanding a program to compost the bio-solids left at the end of the wastewater treatment process, and need to use the space and the building that we currently use for salt storage.
Regardless of what happens with the bio-solids project, a facility on Helmer Road also will be more centrally located for our snow and ice operations. This will speed up our trucks' response time during winter weather, and be much more efficient for us.
New salt facility location map
We are currently planning for a 200-foot by 80-foot building for salt and liquid de-icer storage. We may also include a storage building for our Field Services Division, and a combination storage and work space building for our Traffic Division. We don't have a complete plan yet for what it will look like, but for comparison, here is the Calhoun County Road Department salt storage building in Marshall:
Generally, no. There might be times that you see multiple trucks coming or going from the facility at the same time, most often when we are preparing before a forecasted storm. Typically, the trucks visit salt storage individually to load up when needed, or unload after a shift.
You will see semi trucks (potentially multiple trucks over several days) deliver the salt. This involves one large, bulk salt delivery in the fall. This new facility is larger than the current facility, so it can hold more salt from this early delivery. We will only receive a delivery later in the winter if we need it.
Only a small amount of noise. Most of the time, we won't staff the facility. We won't have offices there, and expect to have staff there occasionally to clean up the salt piles, and do other maintenance work.
Mostly during winter storms, there will be heavy activity there, sometimes around the clock.
The facility will include a large garage that trucks will drive right into for loading, so that also will minimize any noise.
No. We will pave all roads, driveways, and parking areas. Other areas will be grass, so dust should not be an issue.
All of the materials we store here will be kept inside, so we will not have any stormwater runoff concerns.
An outside contractor completed an environmental site assessment in early August of 2021, and we received a favorable report. This means the project can move forward.
We will do a small amount of landscaping, and plant grass and trees.
We don't know yet what signs might look like, or how we will secure the facility (for example, with a potential gate across the main driveway).
Hoffman Bros. accepted an option to purchase the property in June of 2021, after the City Commission approved us moving forward with the purchase.
City staff spent time speaking to neighbors nearby about the project, and sent this letter to about 270 people within a half-mile of the property.
We must request a special use permit, because this area is zoned B-1 Corridor Commercial District. We took this request to the Planning Commission at their Feb. 23, 2022 meeting. You can view that meeting here: https://youtu.be/vBPGy_Ab2Cg, with this item beginning at 1:30:30. The Planning Commission approved the special use permit, so this moves to the City Commission agenda on March 15, 2022 for final approval.
If all goes according to plans, we expect to start construction in the fall of 2022, and start using the facility during the winter season of 2023-2024.
The main operations will be to store our road salt, and liquid de-icer. The liquid is corn-based, and we store it in plastic tanks.
We have not finalized any other Public Works operations that might take place here, but they could include storage for our Signs and Signals Division, collection of street sweeper debris, and storage of our cold patch asphalt. We collect sweeper debris and store cold patch at the current salt storage facility.
We do not plan to collect yard waste here; those operations will continue at our compost site, Brice Pit, at 715 W. River Road.
Contact our Field Services Division at 269-966-3343 or email@example.com.