City council approves street pavement resurfacing program

Published 3:42 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

NILES — Select city streets in need of repairs and improvements will soon receive proper maintenance.

The Niles City Council voted unanimously to approve a $729,160.05 bid from Northern Construction Services Corp. for the 2022 Major and Local Street Pavement Resurfacing Program.

According to the city council report, funds have been set aside in the budget for the current fiscal year for road resurfacing projects. $625,000 has been budgeted for Major and Local Street projects, which includes cold milling, pavement resurfacing, pavement marking, ADA ramp work, and other related work.

Bids were opened on Jan. 26 and of four bids received, Northern Construction Services Corp. of Niles, was the low bidder at $729,160.05 for the following projects:

  • S. Third Street and Silverbrook Avenue to Fort Street
  • Lake Street and N. 13th Street to Terminal Road
  • N. Fourth Street and Main Street to Cedar Road
  • Wesaw Road and Plym Road to Topinabee Road
  • First Court and N. Barrett Street to Lincoln Avenue
  • Cherry Street and S. Fifth Street to S. Ninth Street

Per the report, additional funding over the budgeted amount is available in the Major/Local Street Funds. The projects are expected to be completed by June 30, 2021.

According to Niles Public Works Director Joseph Ray, the department uses a “worst first” approach when addressing pavement improvements and takes both the quality of the roads as well as traffic data into account when making decisions.

“We may fix a road and people say ‘my road is worse than this,’ but that road may only see fifty cars per day,” he said. “Other roads may be in better condition but see 1,000 cars per day. It’s not just the road condition we look into, but the traffic volume as well.”

While the public works department tries to complete resurfacing projects annually, Ray said the same fund used to support the projects also supports general maintenance including snow removal, pothole patching, sign maintenance, pavement marking and more.

“It’s one pot of money we use annually,” Ray said. “We know approximately how much we need for general maintenance and the balance of it is what we try to use for resurfacing projects.”
In other business, council approved a $21,000 Revolving Loan Fund Loan agreement addendum and promissory note with Apothica Teas owners Laura and Shane Hollister.

According to the city website, Niles administers a revolving loan fund program that is available for loan and grant projects considered eligible by the state of Michigan. The RLF is an economic development tool that is based on partnerships between private businesses and the city that works by providing loans to businesses that cannot locate or expand in Niles with traditional financing sources alone.

The aim of the RLF is to generate economic activity that will lead to the creation of jobs for low-and moderate-income individuals. Loans may be used for land and building acquisition, construction, machinery and equipment acquisition, or for working capital. Businesses that benefit from the program are required to create one job for every $15,000 that is borrowed.

In August 2019, council approved a RLF loan agreement for $25,000 with the Hollisters, who have been on time with their scheduled payments and to date have paid $10,000 more than was required, bringing their RLF balance to $11,000. With the addendum approved, their RLF will be amended to $21,000 with a monthly payment of $555.13.

The new RLF agreement is timely as Apothica Teas plans to expand into the adjoining building. Apothica Teas has also been awarded a Match On Main Grant for $21,000 to assist with this expansion.

In further business, the council agreed to sell parcel 11-72-4560-0042-03-7 to Sew Happy Sales and Service, 15 N. 2nd St., for $3,000. The owners of Sew Happy Sales and Services purchased the city-owned parcel — located adjacent to their business — with the purpose of constructing an expansion to its current business.