By Ralph Echtinaw
Inflation hit the city hard Tuesday when bids were opened on a water main project expected to cost $1.25 million.
The lowest bid of $1,804,852 from Crawford Contracting, was 44 percent higher than expected. A bid from Isabella Corporation ($1,854,844) was higher yet.
As City Manager Kurt Giles told city council Tuesday: “We’re going to have to see what can be done before making a recommendation. It’s a more expensive endeavor than we were expecting. That was all. It was enough wasn’t it.”
Contacted by email Wednesday, Giles added: “The bids are being tabulated at this time to verify unit prices translate correctly to the total base bids. At this point, we are looking for a way to fund the project in its entirety.”
Fortunately for the city, county commissioners approved using $500,000 in American Recovery Plan Act funds to help fund this project last December.
The project will replace the water main under M46 from Watson to Clinton.
Council approved spending $13,700 with Twin City Landscaping for modifications to the flora around the library’s gazebo. Some $11,000 of that was donated for this specific purpose.
Twin City will remove the carpet rose flower bed and change the footprint of the kidney-shaped raised bed near Michigan Avenue to encompass the existing spigot within the bed. The flower bed will be extended south, and a brick walkway will be installed to tie the flower beds and benches together and make them handicap accessible.
“We worked with twin City on this design both because they’re a local company and have done extensive work for us in the past as well as at the specific request of Steve Kelly,” said Library Director Jessica Little in a letter to the council.
Council approved the addition of Manny Nannan of Manny’s Marathon to the Downtown Development Authority. Nannan owns two downtown buildings in addition to the gas station.