Duplexes planned for two lots the city just sold at corner of Prospect & Sharon

By Ralph Echtinaw

The St. Louis tax base grew a bit Tuesday after city council approved the sale of two lots to Bader & Sons Co. St. Louis Properties LLC for $22,000.

The lots are on the northwest corner of Prospect and Sharon. City Manager Kurt Giles said the new owner plans to build duplexes there.

The lots came into the city’s possession not long after two houses were demolished there at city expense in 2008. 

“As I recall, the former owner (Burton and Shirley Alspaugh) deeded the property to the city and, in return, was not required to reimburse the city for demolition costs of the buildings,” Giles said via email.

Tractor purchase

Council approved purchase of a new John Deere 3046R to replace an identical model that is four years old and out of warranty. The cost is $45,500 with $23,000 trade-in for old tractor.

New new truck

Councilmen approved purchase of a 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500 (four-wheel drive, double cab) from Berger Chevrolet of Grand Rapids for the second time in two weeks, but at a greater cost.

When Electric Department foreman Mike Parsons went to order the truck following the Oct. 5 city council approval he was told that Chevrolet had cut off receiving orders for those trucks. “It sounds very much like the supply chain issues that we’ve been hearing about with new vehicles and other things,” Giles said. “The one that was approved last night has the LT package which includes some upgrades to the wheels and tires and vehicle interior. It also appears that it may actually be available in the near-term.”

Unfortunately, the new new truck costs more; $38,993, up from $34,405.

But that’s still less than bids from Jorgensen Ford of Detroit ($41,858) and LaFontaine Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram of Lansing ($44,296).

The new new truck will replace a 2008 Dodge truck used by Electric Department personnel. Delivery is expected early next year.

“The 2008 Dodge still runs but we’re trying to get those old ones out of the fleet,” Giles said.

Sidewalk to Dollar General

City council has been encouraging the administration to facilitate a sidewalk extension on the north side of M46 to the Dollar General store. 

Public Services Director Keith Risdon met with a local surveyor and said the Michigan Department of Transportation will require a full plan along with a council resolution before issuing a permit for the sidewalk. 

Risdon requested costs and schedules from two local concrete contractors without success. “They all seem to be very busy,” he said. “With the MDOT requirements this work will need to be pushed into next spring.”

DPW superintendent job posted internally 

The DPW superintendent job, vacant since Mark Abbott retired on Aug. 16, was posted internally on Wednesday. Current city employees may now officially apply for the job. No one will be happier to see a new man or woman on the job than Risdon, who has been starting his day at 6:30 or 7 a.m. to work with DPW staff and doing the DPW superintendent’s job in addition to his own.

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