By Ralph Echtinaw
City Council approved $23,034 of sidewalk repair and reconfiguration on M46 from Pine to Franklin at its first in-person meeting in almost a year Tuesday.
Getting the contract is Seifert Concrete of Ithaca, which “has worked with the city for over ten years with good results and reasonable pricing,” said DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott.
The work follows up on the city’s removal of ten trees that had gotten too big. “They were hitting trucks going by, and we had trimmed them so much they were excessively woody and ugly,” Abbott said via email. “The original project was in 2003, and the concrete has heaved and cracked in spots, so we are replacing the tree spots with gray and colored walk and doing our best to repair the project area from Franklin to Pine Street.”
Abbott believes work will begin this spring. “I plan on repainting the light pole bases after the concrete work is done,” he said.
Also bidding on the job was All-Season Builders of Mt. Pleasant. All Season’s overall price was lower ($21,587), but it proposed replacing just 1,266 square feet of sidewalk ($17/square foot). Seifert will replace almost twice as much sidewalk (2,478 square feet) for $9.29 per square foot.
Speaking of sidewalks
Police Chief Richard J. Ramereiz Jr. told councilmen that he’d like to see a sidewalk on the south side of M46 between Euclid and the Dollar General store. “To me this is a safety issue that needs to be addressed,” he said.
City staffers are looking into the possibilities.
Trade your drugs for ice cream
Ramereiz encouraged people to drop off unwanted, expired, or no-longer-needed medication at the drop box in the police department lobby, offering a chance to win one of two $10 gift certificates to Frosty Cone.
If you drop off meds between April 12 and 23 your name will be entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate. The drawing will occur on Monday, April 26. However, you can drop meds in the disposal box year round during business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
Bike auction coming
The police department tends to accumulate bicycles, as they are lost or abandoned throughout the year, and the time has come to auction them off.
“This will be a silent auction like we did the last time we auctioned bikes,” Ramereiz said via email. “The bikes will be put on display with a bid sheet for a predetermined amount of time. The bid sheets will require the bidder to write their name, phone number and the amount they wish to bid. When bidding closes, the sheets will be collected and the highest bidder notified. The winning bidder will have a set amount of time to pay for and claim their bike(s). If not paid for and claimed within the specified amount of time, the bike will go to the next highest bidder.”
Police department adds third shift
With six full time patrol officers, Ramereiz was able to go from two 12-hour shifts to three 12-hour shifts.
“Our patrol officers have worked 12-hour shifts since the 1990s,” Ramereiz said. “Previously we only had two 12-hour shifts (day shift and night shift) with part-time officers to fill in gaps and backfill for vacations, sick time, training, etc.
The three shifts are:
7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
3 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“During the daytime, the sergeant and I are on duty to assist the day shift officer,” Ramereiz said. “In the afternoon/evening, the midshift officer provides additional coverage to assist the day/night shift officer when the sergeant and I are not here.”
City councilmen agreed to pay $52,265 to the Spicer Group civil engineering firm of Saginaw for unbudgeted funds that were spent on the Michigan Avenue/Pine Street water main project of 2019 and Maple Street reconstruction last year.
Spicer got $18,990 for the water main project and $33,275 for Maple Street.
“We were out there a lot longer than was budgeted,” said Don Scherzer of Spicer.
The original agreed-upon completion date for the Michigan Avenue/Pine Street water main project was May 31, 2019. A two-week extension was granted, but Wards Excavating didn’t finish until Sept. 4.
Scherzer blamed the contractor. “We had a completion date,” he said. “They just didn’t get it done in time.”
What went wrong? “There were a number of delays which included the time taken to obtain the permit for work within the M46 right-of-way, a problem with some defective pipe gaskets that needed to be changed out and some weather delays during the early period of the project,” City Manager Kurt Giles said via email.
Delays in completing the Maple Street reconstruction last year were attributed to the China virus, which shut down work for at least one week. Malley Construction’s completion date was extended by 26 days.
Parks and Rec resignation
City councilmen accepted “with regrets” the resignation of Sally Church from the Parks and Recreation Commission. “I have enjoyed my time serving on this commission and wish to thank the St. Louis City Council for the opportunity to do so,” Church wrote in her resignation letter. Contact city administrators if you’d like to serve on any of the city’s boards and commissions.
The following was gleaned from the February 2021 Downtown Development Authority director’s report:
The price of the former VCare Pharmacy building (corner of Michigan Avenue and Mill Street) is $100,000.
The price of the former Corner Market (202 North Mill) is $115,000.
Sherwood Auctions was supposed to sell the contents of the Sunshine Resale Store at 305 North Mill, but the store owner changed her mind.
I Love My City Cleanup Day on Sunday, April 26.
Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 25.
Flag Day ceremony at city hall on Tuesday, June 15.