Niles moves forward with Wayne Street improvement project

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

NILES — A key city street in need of improvements will soon receive proper maintenance.

The Niles City Council approved a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation Monday to carry out its planned Wayne Street improvement project.

According to a council report from City Administrator Ric Huff, the project to improve Wayne Street from Fifth Street to Thirteenth Street, along with other work, qualified for federal funding for completion this upcoming construction season. The project includes cold-milling pavement, and construction of ADA ramps, storm water drainage improvements and resurfacing. The project is advertised and awarded by the Michigan Department of Transportation in Lansing. Federal funds will pay for up to 72 percent of construction costs with a cap of $351,000 while the City of Niles share is the remainder of the estimated $139,000 in construction costs. A contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation is required to be approved and signed by the City prior to awarding the contract.

In other business, the Niles History Center was awarded a grant from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office through the Certified Local Government program in the amount of $74,000. Per the grant agreement, signed in June, a historic preservation easement is required to protect the historic resource. The historic preservation easement is prepared by SHPO. Before grant funds are released, the grant recipient must record the easement with the Register of Deeds and the original documentation must be submitted to SHPO.

Council also approved the use of FY 2024 CMAQ and 5307 FTA/MDOT grant funds to purchase  three full-size, 10 passenger transit vans with wheelchair lift and gasoline chassis from Hoekstra Transportation, Inc. via MiDEAL in an amount not to exceed $317,526. Dial-A-Ride Transportation Transit Vans are eligible for replacement every four years or 100,000 miles. Bus 70, Bus 8, and Bus 9 have exceeded the useful life in years of service, and were eligible for replacement. This will be the city’s first time purchasing full-size transit vans.

According to the report from Huff, DART has historically used the state extended purchasing program, MiDEAL, to purchase replacement buses because we have neither the expertise nor the resources to handle a local rolling stock (bus/van) procurement process, especially for three vehicles. 

DART received FY 2024 Section 5307 FTA funding and state match through MDOT specifically and CMAQ for the purchase of a small bus. The purchase of these Transit Vans will help to ensure that the DART fleet is safe and comfortable for Niles area transit riders.

In further business, council: 

  • Authorized the Utilities Department to contract with Corrpro Waterworks of Medina, Ohio for an annual service agreement at a cost of $4,625 for inspection of the Cathodic Protection System of five water tanks, charging the expense to Water Division – Maintenance.
  • Approved the 2023-2026 ARPA projects and obligated ARPA funds for related expenses. To date, City Council has obligated or expended $5,292,305.05 of the $7,031,749 ARPA grant plus $134,336.51 in interest earned to date. The ARPA grant requires all funds to be fully obligated no later than Dec. 31, 2024 and expenses no later than Dec. 31, 2026.
  • Accepted the bid of Kirk M. Proshwitz of Buchanan, Michigan in the amount of $16,500 for the fireworks display for the annual Fourth of July celebration to be held July 4, 2024 with a rain date of July 5.
  • Authorized the purchase of new computers – 15 PCs and 5 laptops – for multiple divisions within the City from Dell Marketing, LP of Round Rock, TX at a cost of $15,703.14 with the costs to be charged to Computer Equipment and Supplies of the departments receiving computers.
  • Authorized the purchase of new copiers and printers, including service and support, from US Business Systems of Elkhart, Indiana in the amount of $115,335.73 and charged the expense to the City and Utility Departments, Computer Equipment and Supplies.
  • Authorized the Utilities Department to extend the Tree Trimming and Line Clearance contract with Tree Servants of Plymouth, Indiana for one year and charged the expense to the Electric Department and Department of Public Works.