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Norway hires consultant for hydroelectric plan

NORWAY — Norway City Council has approved $15,000 for the development of an asset management plan for the Sturgeon Falls Hydroelectric Facility.

The plan — which will include on-site review, equipment assessment mapping and the creation of a capital budget — will be organized by Hydro Consulting and Maintenance Services, Inc., and take about two to four weeks to complete.

The results would allow the city to make informed decisions on facility and equipment maintenance and capital improvements, HCMS Business Development Manager Scott Klubunde told the council last week.

“You only have so much money,” Klubunde said. “You’re going to be wanting to spend it in the right place.”

Council Member Jeff Muraro said whether to spend $15,000 to better manage a hydroelectric facility estimated at $20 million was not “much of a question.”

In other business conducted March 16, the council:

— Approved the purchase of a new steamer from Champion Charter for the Department of Public Works at a cost not to exceed $17,907. The city’s current steamer, which is used to thaw ice formed in stormwater inlets, is more than 60 years old and well past its end-of-life. The steamer is a budgeted item, City Manager Ray Anderson said.

— Had a second reading of a new ordinance regulating the use of snowmobiles in the city. The ordinance states that snowmobile riders are to use city alleys as routes to and from trails, not exceed 15 miles per hour and not operate on U.S. 2, U.S. 8 or Main Street from 4th Avenue to Railroad Avenue, among other things. A public hearing has yet to be scheduled.

A motion to give the Dickinson Trail Network permission to build about four miles of new recreational trails in Norway died after the council had questions on liability and compliance with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Dickinson County Conservation District.

During mayor and council comments, members encouraged the public to stay informed of the latest developments on the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and be vigilant against its spread. Anderson said anyone looking for the updates should go to www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Brian Christensen can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 229, or bchristensen@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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