Crockery Township officials are looking at ways to reduce the cost of operating the sewage treatment plant built for the Hathaway Lakes subdivision.
A report released by the Ottawa County Road Commission highlighted the fact that operation and maintenance costs for the sewer plant have exceeded funding sources. This shortfall must in turn come out of the township’s General Fund.
“Obviously, we’re frustrated,” Township Supervisor Leon Stille said. “Obviously, the frustration continues to be there because we’re not catching up.”
While new houses sprout up in the development each year, so too does the cost to operate and maintain the plant. Township officials said they want to see what options are there to keep the costs in line, or possibly cut costs.
“We have 125 people flushing toilets — that’s over $900 per year per house,” Stille said of the Road Commission’s cost to operate the plant. “That seems to be above what we thought we’d be.”
Operation costs aside, another factor concerning officials is the possible capital costs for maintenance and upkeep in the future — something Road Commission officials say is on the horizon.
“That’s where we’re not giving you the full picture, and that’s where we’re headed really soon with asset management,” Road Commission Public Utilities Engineer Pat Staskiewicz said.
Road Commission officials say, however, that they’ve already done quite a bit in regards to providing value, including operating the sewer system more efficiently than they might otherwise.
“If we really wanted to gouge you, we’d operate it the way it was designed, which is continuous operation,” Staskiewicz said. “We’ve been operating it in a manner that it wasn’t designed for.”
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.