9th Street bids higher than expected

GLADSTONE — The 9th Street Project slated to begin this summer may look a little different after bids for the project were higher than expected. The total infrastructure and utilities project was estimated to cost around $4 million. City Manager Darcy Long brought this to the Gladstone City Commission’s attention during the regular meeting Monday.

Long explained the bids came in higher than expected, with the lowest around $4.3 million, and the bids didn’t include the other costs associated with the project like the engineers and bonding. He said with the lowest bid coming in at around $4.3 million, the project could end up totaling closer to $5 million.

“We did open the bid, they were higher than the engineer’s estimate, and they’re reviewing them right now. So the engineers are doing an analysis of them and going through the bids to make sure they are — they meet the bid spec. and that they are correct in their numbers,” Long said.

The bids were opened on April 18, and the city received three.

Long said the engineers and financial advisors are looking at the bids and project closely to see where cuts can be made.

“It’s a project where there’s not a lot of room to really cut, but because pavement was the most expensive piece of it, we got to see where we can shave some off possibly,” he said.

The 9th Street project includes a total reconstruction of 9th Street — including work on storm drains, water lines, and sewer lines from Minneapolis Avenue to 4th Avenue — as well as work on other streets, avenues and alleys. The work on 9th Street will also include work on some of the sidewalks and an addition of a bike lane.

The 9th Street project is within the Downtown Development Authority’s jurisdiction, so the DDA will cover the cost of 70 percent of the project and the city will cover the remaining 30 percent.

To fund the project, the DDA and city have looked into a 15-year capital improvement bond through Robert W. Baird & Co., an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company based out of Milwaukee.

Both the DDA and the city have already put money towards the project and have included the payments within their budgets.

The total length of roads that will be under reconstruction is 25,890 feet.

The 9th Street project will encompass parts of 9th Street, Delta North and South alleys, 6th Street, Superior Avenue, 11th Street, the alley between Minneapolis and Wisconsin avenues, 3rd Avenue, 8th Street, and the 4th Street sanitary.

The targeted start date was May 2019. The goal is to have the 9th Street project completed in the fall of 2019.

Work on 4th Street will follow a different timeline from the rest of the project. The first phase of the 4th Street project, which is work on the sewer, will be done at the time of the 9th Street project.

The 4th Street sewer main replacement project was estimated to cost $201,000, which is included in the budget for work on 9th Street. The paving will be done through the MDOT Small Urban Program.

Long explained the 9th Street Project is still going to happen but it will look a little different.

“It’s something we have to work through and look at it again and see where we are at. I would say we are still going to do the project — it will look a lot different,” he said.

In other business, the commission:

– had another public hearing for the Appropriation Ordinance No. 611, which is making the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget an ordinance. There were no comments and the ordinance was adopted.

– approved a motion to charge Gladstone city staff into looking to see if the PA 202 Gladstone Corrective Action Plan for Retirees can be amended and to find a way to fund an increase of payment for retirees without a millage increase by the next meeting on May 13.

– tabled the issue on a quiet zone for South Bluff Hill for the last meeting in May.

– accepted the lowest bid of $12,018 from Vacuum, Pump, & Compressor Inc. for a pump and motor at the underpass lift station. The items were budgeted for $12,000.

– approved the permit for the 2019 Gladstone 4th of July fireworks display. Speilbauer Fireworks Co. Inc., the same company that has done the fireworks in Gladstone in the past, will be setting off the show at the beach area near the lighthouse for $6,000.

– approved of City Manager Darcy Long to sign the Northern Michigan University Tower lease addendum. The lease addendum allows NMU to install a back-up generator on the tower for no cost to the city and NMU will provide two business units for access to the network for two city department buildings.

– set the city manager goal setting work session for Thursday, May 9 at 5 p.m. and the city manager facilitated review special meeting for Thursday, May 9 at 6 p.m.