2012-12-13 / Front Page

Portion of Park Ave. to get update

Leftover funds could mean infrastructure

MANISTIQUE – One block of Park Avenue will have its water and sewer system upgraded, thanks to leftover funds from a recent citywide infrastructure project. During a Manistique City Council meeting Monday, officials announced the project will move forward once cost estimates are accepted by the construction company.

This summer, an $8.6 million infrastructure project upgraded water, sewer and storm sewer lines throughout the city. The project was funded through a USDA Rural Development grant and city matches. Following completion of the project in Oct., city officials and engineering firm Coleman Engineering indicated some or all of Park Avenue, which was originally included in the project, but cut due to funding restraints, may be completed after all.

On Monday, City Manager Sheila Aldrich explained the city had been able to save enough funds to facilitate the infrastructure upgrade of one block of Park Avenue.

“This change order went to the contractor – Elmer’s (Crane and Dozer, Inc.) – and they have not returned it signed yet,” she explained. “Elmer’s has to accept this at the unit prices for this year, and so that’s the hold up on it.”

According to Aldrich, the project, estimated at $398,985.30, would be completed in 2013. It will include one block from Range

Street up Park Avenue.

In other business, Aldrich asked council to approve an engineering firm for the Downtown Infrastructure Grant recently awarded to the city. The grant, estimated to be between $400,000 and $500,000, will fund the replacement of failing utility lines for the section of Cedar Street between Oak and Walnut streets. Work for the project will begin in 2013.

The preliminary engineering completed to apply for the grant was done by Coleman Engineering, noted Aldrich.

She questioned whether council would like to put out a request for bids for the engineering or if council would like to choose an engineering firm and move forward.

“We’ve run into this a lot … we’re adding costs to projects by putting out request for proposals,” said Mayor David Peterson. “I know that Coleman’s got all the information … this project – they’ve got everything they need to do to continue with it.”

Council discussed the possibility of keeping a “go-to” engineering firm on hand for the city for various projects, as long as it is within the firm’s expertise. A motion to approve Coleman Engineering as the firm for the DIG grant project was unanimously approved.

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