Workers conduct road maintenance. Courtesy | Twitter
Workers conduct road main­te­nance. Courtesy | Twitter

The Hillsdale City Council unan­i­mously approved a res­o­lution this week to replace rotting sewer drains beneath M‑99.

The res­o­lution calls for replacing 500 linear feet of piping, which will cost $238,000. City Manager David Mackie said that placing the new piping beneath the grass on the side of the road will lower the cost. This could save the city up to $90,000 in overall cost for the project, Mackie said.

In Sep­tember, the city dis­covered defective pipes when a city con­tractor con­ducted a video inspection of highway M‑99. A camera fell into the pipe during the inspection, and when city workers dug the camera out from the pipe, they dis­covered the rotten lines.

“The entire line, about 1,500 linear feet of it, is in very bad shape,” Mackie said. “The pipes were very brittle. While the con­tractors were attempting to repair the pipes there were actually sec­tions of the pipe that would break off.” 

The repair will occur in two parts. One part will replace the worst parts of the line, and the other will replace the lining within the pipes. According to Mackie, the lining can strengthen existing pipes, which do not have any struc­tural defects, such as sig­nif­icant parts missing. 

Mackie said the city will repair the lining first, since it is a more “eco­nomical repair.”

During the meeting, the city council also reviewed the financial report from July to Sep­tember, along with progress on leaf collection. 

The first quarter financial report showed city rev­enues high, from the summer tax col­lection season, while expen­di­tures in the general fund remained high due to sea­sonal main­te­nance costs.

Interim Finance Director Karen Lan­caster said sea­sonal expen­di­tures could distort dis­crep­ancies in the report.

“Our revenue looks really stellar right now because we are col­lecting our tax revenue,” she said. “That’s a big thing during the sum­mertime and so the majority of our tax revenue comes into our revenue higher than what we would antic­ipate, but that levels out over time.”

Public Ser­vices Director Jake Hammel said the second round of leaf col­lection began this week. 

“We have been through the entire system one whole time,” Hammel said. “One thing that has come to light as far as com­pliance with cars on the street: we have gotten very little com­pliance there. Also, we didn’t have a lot of piles out, but we are hoping to see an improvement with this next round of collection.”

Hammel said city ser­vices would not collect piles of leaves behind cars, due to dif­fi­culty maneu­vering leaf col­lection equipment. 

The city is asking res­i­dents to rake their leaves to the side of the road, beginning on the first day of col­lection in their ward. Citywide leaf col­lection is expected to last through Dec. 7.