Norway council authorizes hydroelectric repairs

NORWAY — The Norway City Council approved Monday the repair of the Sturgeon Falls Hydroelectric Facility Unit 4 generator.

The unit broke down Oct. 3 when the turbine’s wicket gates, which control the flow of water, failed.

Miron Construction Co. will make all necessary repairs as well as inspect the unit’s gearbox and bearings and supply a turbine guide bearing at a cost not to exceed $118,235.

“This is not a planned project, but it’s the reason why we keep a million or 1.2 million dollars set aside,” City Manager Ray Anderson said. “When you have these types of things, you can afford to get them fixed.”

In other business, the council:

— Authorized a $30,253.10 pay request submitted by Coleman Engineering of Iron Mountain for the Strawberry Lake Park Improvements Project for contractor Wright Electric of Marquette. The pay request covers electrical conduit, light poles and light pole bases installed along the park walking trail. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will reimburse the city for 74 percent, or $22,387.30, of the pay request.

— Approved $108,941.43 from the Stormwater, Asset Management, Wastewater grant to Coleman Engineering for field work on the city’s sanitary and storm sewer systems.

— Agreed to purchase an uninterruptible power supply from GoTech of Norway at a cost not to exceed $2,945 for the city communications department.

— Allowed the Norway Volunteer Fire Department to perform a raffle in the city’s name to raise money for the fireworks fund. The fire department will sell tickets for a chance to win a scoped Mossberg .30-06 until Nov. 6. A $100 bonus will be given to the volunteer who sells the most tickets.

— Heard from Mike Peters, president and CEO of WPPI Energy, a member-owned, not-for-profit regional power company based out of Sun Prairie, Wis. Norway is one of 51 members in three states that receives power from WPPI, which it uses in combination with energy produced by its own hydroelectric facility.

The average power cost per megawatt hour for members in 2019 is $72.50, Peters said. Peters expected rates would stay relatively flat for the next five years, with a possible increase of three to five percent in that time.