Buchanan moves forward with downtown streetscape, infrastructure projects

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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BUCHANAN — Buchanan City Commissioners took a big step forward Monday when it comes to the city’s downtown streetscape and infrastructure project.

Commissioners approved three resolutions related to the USDA loans the city is getting as well as the contract for the first part of the infrastructure work. Background on the project and the USDA loans had been presented to the commission at their June 24 meeting.

City Manager Tim Lynch said two resolutions were approved for the water supply system part of the project and one for the sewer system part of the project. The two water system loans total nearly $9 million, while the sewer system loan is for nearly $7.5 million. Each was for the issuance of additional junior revenue bonds.

U.S.D.A. Rural Development is giving the city 40-year million low interest loans from U.S.D.A. Rural Development to pay for most of the $18.2 million project with the rest coming from the general and water and sewer funds. The interest rate on the loans is 1.375 percent which is much lower than most interest rates available.

The project will pay for improvements to the aging water and sewer systems to replace pipes installed a century ago and a new interceptor to the wastewater treatment plant as well as streetscape work on Front, Main and Oak Streets, Red Bud Trail and Days Avenue.

The commission also approved the first contract for the streetscape project at Monday’s meeting. Kamminga & Roodvoets Construction of Grand Rapids. That contract is for $10.53 million and will be formally signed after the U.S.D.A. paperwork is completed.

Lynch said work should start after Labor Day from the treatment plant and then on Third Street to City Hall. That part of the project includes crossing McCoy’s Creek and will be done this fall before the state stops work around the creek for the November-May spawning season.

Commissioners also got a construction update about the new Department of Public Works building from Jennifer Sawyer of the Barton Group which has overseen the construction. Lynch said the nearly $5 million project is expected to be done by Aug. 30.