Notice of Intent to Bond for Sewer System Repairs

Over the past several years, the township has been looking into the health of our wastewater systems.  There are two types of sewer lines in Northfield Township - gravity flow lines and pressurized lines.  The gravity flow system serves the downtown area which includes a portion of Green Oak Township, the area surrounding Whitmore Lake, homes and businesses down Main Street and Seven Mile Road, and the Horseshoe Lake area. This portion of the sewer system is over 60 years old.  Our Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) personnel along with engineers at TetraTech have determined that the current gravity flow system is at capacity and repairs are needed. 

Improvements to the existing wastewater system are no small feat and will cost several million dollars.  While we have a considerable fund balance in the WWTP fund, it is important to look at alternative approaches to financing the upcoming sewer project to improve the gravity flow portion of our sewer service system. At the April 23, 2024 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees directed the Township Manager to issue a Notice of Intent to Bond for an amount not to exceed $7 million to address our aging sewer system.  The sewer system repair project would include acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping improvements to the township’s sewage disposal system, consisting generally of the replacement of trunk sewers and wastewater improvements, filter replacement, and other related repair items. If the board moves forward with bonds for this project, the township anticipates paying debt service on the bonds using revenues from the township’s sewage disposal system (i.e. monies taken in from quarterly sewer bills and connection fees). In preparation for the possible issuance of bonds for this project, the board has directed our engineers at TetraTech to conduct a sewer rate study to ensure that revenue from the sewer system would be able to cover the bond payments.

Notice of Intent to Bond was published in the Ann Arbor News on April 28, 2024.  This publication date starts the 45-day referendum period in which voters have the opportunity to file a petition requesting this item be decided by a vote of the people.  If no valid referendum petition is received, the project would go out to bid.  Once the project bids are opened and the amount to be financed is finalized, the board would then schedule a meeting date to vote on the bond resolution.  Per township ordinance, color post cards would be mailed to township taxpayers not more than 30 days nor less than eight days prior to any action taken in this regard.