Growth sparks infrastructure needs

By David Fleet
Goodrich — The Village is growing. A lot.
Following the 2020 census report that place the village on top of Genesee County at 8.7 percent in the last decade the current need for new homes and upgraded infrastructure is not a surprise.
At 5:30 p.m., Sept. 27, the village council will meet in a special meeting to discuss and consider an agreement to join in the funding and usage with Grand Blanc and Davison townships along with the Northwestern Oakland Drain Drainage District for construction of the Kearsley Creek Interceptor North.
The $33 million project, projected to begin in the spring of 2023 will provide public sewer service to some areas and add sewer capacity to other communities where it may be insufficient.  A representative from the Genesee County Drain office is expected to attend the upcoming meeting.
Sheri Wilkerson, village administrator said the villages’ REUs are needed. The REUs are used to calculate sewer and water costs, based on usage. The village is requesting 300 units for the near and future growth of the community. Currently, village subdivisions have expressed additional REU’s for growth include: Deer Run Point, one; Hill Point Shores, five; Goodrich Meadows, 24; Fairview, five and Green Ridge Meadows 25, with a possibility of another 50.
“If and when the REUs are used the area available for new homes in the village will be at the maximum,” added Wilkerson.
The growth and need for additional sewer units was reflected in the recent census.
The village population by 162 people to 2,022, followed by Grand Blanc Township 6.2 percent, the City of Clio 4.6 percent and Atlas Township 4.5 percent since 2010. Locally Davison Township grew by 4.4 percent. In contrast, Genesee County’s population declined by 4.6 percent while the City of Flint dipped by 21,182 people or 20.7 percent.
According to the Genesee County Drain Commissioner’s Office, in 2001 the Village had purchased a sewer capacity of 1,200 Residential Equivalent Units or REU.
As of Dec. 1, 2021, there are 1,186 REUs that have been allocated, leaving 14 remaining for new connections. Now that number is down to five.
“We should re-look at the number of units needed,” said Keith Walworth, council member. “Maybe that should be 350 (units). It gives us a guarantee we don’t run out. If we do, we are going to put ourselves in a situation we don’t want to get into.”
The village has requested that Grand Blanc Township loan 25 units to the village if they join the KCI, then return the units once the project is complete. The village will be charged rent at 10 percent of their value until the KCI project is complete.
The cost of the interceptor is an estimated $32.9 million, of which Oakland and Genesee counties will contribute $5 million each. The $22.9 million will be divided over other communities with Goodrich contributing an estimated $478,610 for the project.
“We’ll have to bond,” added Wilkerson. “We have $197,000, in ARP funds we could use toward the new system.”
American Rescue Plan Act was signed in March 2021 and provides $350 billion in relief to states and local governments to fight the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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