Friday, June 12, 2009

Oakland Macomb Interceptor (OMI) - Repair Project Outlined at Public Hearing

At a June 10, 2009 public hearing, representatives from Oakland and Macomb County outlined a significant new project to repair and rehabilitate the Oakland-Macomb Interceptor (OMI).

The OMI is a 21 mile length of sanitary sewer that is currently owned by the City of Detroit (DWSD). Under
an agreement reached in December, 2008, and confirmed on May 12, 2009, ownership of the OMI will be transferred to Oakland and Macomb Counties. Since the OMI is the sole source of sanitary sewerage disposal for 830,000 suburban residents, and portions of the OMI have deteriorated severely since it was constructed by DWSD in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Macomb County believes that it is critically important that repairs to the OMI proceed under a court-ordered construction schedule.

The OMI Drain Repair Project is estimated to cost $160 million. The project will be competitively bid in the traditional manner (design-bid-build) under 3 to 4 separate contracts, the first of which is scheduled for bids by Fall, 2009. While a formal engineering contract has yet to be awarded, NTH Consultants is the leading candidate for the project.

The Owner for the project will be a new public authority (intercounty drain) formed under Chapter 21 of the Michigan Drain Code.

Chapter 21 of the Drain Code permits a "public corporation" (city, village, township, etc) to petition the Department of Agriculture for the establishment of intercounty drain when necessary for the public health. The costs for the drain project are set by an intercounty drainage board composed of the drain commissioner of each affected county and the director of the Department of Agriculture, and are apportioned to each public corporation based on the benefits that each public corporation receives from the project and the extent to which the public corporation contributed to the conditions making the drain necessary. Affected public corporations are assessed the costs of the project and may levy taxes for the payment of the assessment irrespective of any statutory or charter taxation limit.

No comments: