Roadwork aheadPublished 9:09am Wednesday, April 16, 2014
City council approves measures to improve several local streets
After a long winter that, judging by Monday night’s light snowfall still doesn’t appear to be completely over, many of Dowagiac’s roads are in need of some care and maintenance.
Relief will soon be on its way for a portion of the city’s roadways, as the city council Monday approved funding for the annual Local Street Paving Project, which provides resources for resurfacing work to segments of seven local roads. This year, the work will be handled by Wyoming Asphalt Paving, Inc., of Plainwell, in the amount of $59,744.58.
“[The project] is down a little bit in cost from where we were in previous years,” said City Manager Kevin Anderson. “Not because there is less to do, but because of the hard winter, and we didn’t have quite as much money because we had to make some adjustments for some of those additional costs.”
The roads selected for repair with this year’s funds are:
• Cedar Street, from LaGrange Street to E. Division Street
• E. High Street/Cass Avenue, from Henry Street to the Cass Avenue Bridge
• N. Lowe Street, from Main Street to W. High Street
• Cul-de-sac at McPhil Drive
• Riverside Drive, from Hill Street
• Tuthill Street, from Spruce to W. High Street
“These roads that we’re working on come with the recommendation of the street department staff, who have been out looking at various roads,” Anderson said. “It’s a difficult thing trying to pin some of those properties down, since we can all certainly look at others that need work as well.”
Last year, the city spent nearly $120,000 on road repairs and paving, Anderson said. When coupled with grant money, the city has done about $2 million worth of paving over the last four years, the city manager added.
The city is looking to bump road work expenditures back up to prior levels for next year, in order to patch up additional streets that are on their radar, Anderson said.
“You always try to do as much blacktopping work as you can, but fiscal constraints are fiscal constraints,” he said. “As a council, you’ve done a real good job of putting money out there year after year so that we can deal with streets. This year, we just got hit with the plowing like everybody else did, so it reduces the scope.”
The council also approved grant applications to the federal Small Urban Local Transportation program to help pay for improvements to three other local roads and highways: Marcellus Highway from Colby Street to the city limits; W. Railroad from E. Telegraph to E. Prairie Ronde; and Oak Street from Front Street to E. Prairie Ronde.
Repairs to these three roads will cost an estimated $302,000. The city will have to contribute $60,400 should their grant requests be accepted, per the grant’s 20 percent local match requirement.
“It’s a good program,” Anderson said. “We’ve done a lot of roads with this in the past.”
Among the roads that received work from previous grant funds were Lowe Street, Riverside Drive and Prairie Ronde.
If approved, work on Marcellus Highway could begin as soon as this year, Anderson said.
Other business conducted by the city council Monday included:
• A bid award to Greenway Quality Lawn Care for lawn work for properties that are not maintained by owners, for a minimum per lawn rate of $25.
• Appointments to city’s Building Authority, Cemetery/Tree Board and DART Local Advisory Board.
• Approval of a request from AT&T to install an emergency backup generator at their telecommunications facility at the city water tower on Riverside Drive.
• Passage of a resolution that forbids parking along the west side of James Street near Justus Gage Elementary, from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Approval of a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 28, for consideration of declaring the property at 209 Andrews St. a public nuisance.
• Approval to pay the city’s bills and payroll, in the amount of $714,593.49.