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Council discusses Showboat, makes purchases

Lowell city council had their latest regular meeting at city hall on Monday, July 15. The meeting lasted 55 minutes and was attended by 14 local residents. The council made a few purchases and discussed the showboat, sewer pipes and more.

The council voted to pay Grand Rapids-based company Comprehensive Engineering a total of $75,000 for design services, $42,000 for the new Lowell Showboat and $33,000 for the DPW building adjacent to the boat.

“The showboat is unique, we've not done a showboat before,” said Comprehensive Engineering principal Ken Reigler. “It is simply a building that's in the water, but it's going to have some unique requirements. [...] There is no plumbing, but we do have quite extensive HVAC. This will allow the showboat to be in operation year-round.”

Prein and Newhof engineer Brian Vilmont presented the council with information about the status of the city's water pipes, which were assessed by the firm with a television camera. Many leaks and cracks were found in the area near city hall and the Runciman Building used by Lowell Area Schools.

“We think that if we potentially line the pipe underneath Main St. to avoid a bore and jack and then replace the section [of pipe] south of Main St., we might be able to get rid of up to 120,000 gallons [of extra water] a day going to the wastewater plant,” Vilmont said.

In other business, the council's city income tax proposal was approved by Michigan's governor and attorney general, so that will definitely be on the Nov. 5 ballot. The council also voted to spend $21,799 on a salt spreader for one of the city's winter plow trucks, $7,759 on a new mower to use at city properties and $15,300 on a new temperature control system for the Englehardt Library. City manager Michael Burns said that all but $300 of the library's expenses were paid for with a grant from the Lowell Area Community Foundation.

Lowell city council's next regular meeting will be at 7 pm on Monday, Aug. 19. The council will next meet with the public at a “Coffee with the Council” event at the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce on the Riverwalk from 8 am until 10 am on Saturday, Sept. 7.

To watch various city council, board and commission meetings from the recent past, visit the "City of Lowell" or “Lowell Light and Power” channels on YouTube.

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