PORTAGE —The same firm under consideration in Munising now has yet another success story to boast about.

In the Kalamazoo County community of Portage, city officials declared the first year performance of a water and sewer contract with Earth Tech to be "excellent."

In a March 3, 1998 memo, city manager Michael L. Stampfler noted that Portage saved $785,000 in the contract’s first year, which ended March 1, over what its utility operation cost would have been if the city had continued to operate the utility. In addition, "all areas of service delivery have continued to exceed industry standards of quality" and "some key areas, particularly storm water management, have improved dramatically, with some performance levels more than doubling prior year performance."

The city manager also noted that all 14 former city employees who transferred to Earth Tech, Inc. from the city payroll a year ago are still working for Earth Tech.