Dowagiac moves forward with street improvement projects

Published 7:03 pm Thursday, March 14, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — Key city streets in need of improvements will soon receive proper maintenance.

The council voted to authorize grant applications through the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program for the resurfacing of West Prairie Ronde and North Lowe Street respectively.

A multi-year road maintenance plan identified by the council as a priority resurfacing project for the next four to five years. In the plan, the resurfacing of West Prairie Ronde was identified as a priority for 2025 and the resurfacing of N. Lowe Street was identified as a priority for 2026. Both projects meet the criteria of the Small Urban Area street improvement grant program. The Southwest Regional Planning Commission is administering the grant program.

The total cost for both projects is estimated to be $547,733, of which the city, if awarded the funds, commits to match 18.15 percent of the actual cost, estimated to be $99,413.53. The local match shall be funded by the city using General Fund tax dollars.

In other business, council approved a resolution authorizing the purchase and installation of plowing equipment which will replace two Department of Public Services vehicles. According to DPS Director Benjamin Eldridge, two dump trucks critical to the DPS operations are in need of replacement this year with both trucks past their useful lifespan. One truck is model year 2003 and the other is a 2004. 

The cost of a 2025 International HV607’s chassis is $101,700.48 and the cost to outfit the chassis with a dump box, spreader, plow, and underbody scraper is $102,831. The total cost for a truck will be $204,531.48. The cost of two trucks will be $409,062.96. The lead time for delivery is 12 months. The chassis’ will be purchased from West Michigan International and the installation of equipment will be done by Truck and Trailer Specialties. 

The equipment installation was competitively bid through the state purchasing program, MIDeal. While MIDeal would typically be used to purchase the chassis’, it is not in this case because of long lead times. It would take two years to get delivery through MIDeal. Direct purchase of the chassis will reduce the lead time to one year at a cost of $6,000. Since these trucks will be replacing trucks that are beyond their useful lifespan, funds are available within the Motor Pool Fund to purchase the vehicles.

In further business, council voted to condemn 105 Bradley St. and authorized its removal.The condition of 105 Bradley St. has been an ongoing concern for Code Enforcement. On January 8, 2024 council reviewed staff’s correspondence and photos and set a public hearing on the matter, which was hosted prior to Monday’s meeting. The owner will have 30 days to begin the demolition process and six months to complete it. Failing to do so would bring the property into the city’s control. If that happens, any costs incurred in the abatement of such conditions and nuisances could be recovered through use of Special Assessment.