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Trustees vote to upgrade Bates Twp.’s chilly garage PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:44 PM

BATES TOWNSHIP—Trustees here voted Jan. 9 to update the township garage, which has been without heat for nearly two weeks, Supervisor Grant Helgemo said.
The heater is outdated and noisy, Helgemo told supervisors during the monthly meeting. Some circuit boards in the controller are obsolete.
Trustees received three bids for a new, high-efficiency heater. They accepted the low bid of $2,700 from Bietila’s Heating and Air Conditioning of Breitung Township. Two Iron River- based contractors were considered; Smed’s Sales and Service with a bid of $4,130 and Westphal’s Inc. with a bid of $4,733.
The Township Board also voted to install two dusk-to-dawn lights at the garage.
“We have people working here at the office in the evenings. It’s a safety and security issue,” Helgemo said. “We want to assure the safety of our office personnel and from the shop standpoint, we keep hearing about break-ins.” 
Bates Township workers continue to monitor water quality after receiving a positive test for coliform bacteria Jan. 7.
“It is an issue, but it’s not a big deal,” DEQ water safety inspector Jim Rice said. “Coliform bacteria is an indicator organism that something could be wrong with the system.”
“It’s not a health issue for people,” Ed Benson, township water department head, told the board. Benson has contacted the Michigan DNR’s environmental quality division in compliance with state law and began chlorinating the water system around Sunset Lake.
He said some residents may detect a slight chlorine odor while the system is being flushed. Rice added that the contamination is isolated to around Sunset Lake. He said commenting on the cause of the positive bacteria test would be “speculation.”
The Township Board also voted to continue taking reservations for Sunset Lake Park and pavilion rentals. Both park and pavilion are slated for major renovations this year, but designers will plan the work for spring and fall to minimize disruption during the summer. Some minor tree removal will be done this winter, Helgemo said.