Council keep consultants to work on water, sewer rates

ALPENA – The Alpena Municipal Council voted to approve spending an additional $30,000 to Gosling Czubak, which was hired by the city for $10,000 to be its consultant for new water rates in the city and Alpena Township. The city hoped to have a new agreement in place with the township for a new rate by Jan. 1 and the hope is talks will continue and the target date will be met.

City Manager Greg Sundin said the additional money is needed for Gosling Czubak and attorney Jim Young to continue to collect information that will be used in negotiations with the township.

“We need some additional consulting services, research and general work being done by both parties so we can proceed with negotiations,” Sundin said.

Sundin said there have been talks with the township but no deal had been reached in terms of what a fair water rate is. He said the two sides will continue to talk and he hopes a deal can be struck before the new year. He refused, however, to provide information on how close a deal could be.

“You’re always hopeful something can get done, but I’m not going to get into where we are in the negotiations,” Sundin said. “We are talking and have met. We’re waiting for some communications from the township and then we will continue to move forward from there.”

In other business:

* the council approved Sundin’s reappointment of James Malaski to the housing commission for a five-year term. It also approved reinstating Joanne Gallagher to the compensation committee. The term will end on Oct. 1, 2016.

* the council approved an application from Thunder Bay Properties for a neighborhood enterprise zone certificate. The certificate would allow some improvements to be done for residential properties and for a tax break for 12 years.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at