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IM awards $1.4M West C Street project to IR company

IRON MOUNTAIN — Work is scheduled to begin in August on street, water and sewer improvements on West C Street carrying a construction cost of $1.4 million.

City Manager Jordan Stanchina described the project as “basically a full reconstruction” during a council meeting Monday — Iron Mountain’s first in-person session since mid-March.

Bids for the work were opened June 22 and the council Monday awarded the project to Hebert Construction of Iron River at $1,395,279. The only other bidder was Bacco Construction Co. of Iron Mountain at $1,632,564.

The project covers five blocks of West C Street from Carpenter Avenue west to Lake Street, plus two blocks of Lake Street. In addition to street reconstruction, it includes sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water mains and sidewalks.

Stanchina noted that only sidewalks that are torn up will be replaced. The work is expected to take at least two months.

West C Street in this area has been in poor condition for some time, but the paving has been put off because of utility issues, Stanchina said. An undersized water main will be replaced. In addition, the contractor will separate combined sanitary and storm sewer drains and add new storm sewer to replace clay tile sewers.

The project will be the first to involve replacement of water service lines to homes, as required under a state directive to replace all lead service lines by 2040.

Iron Mountain has up to 1,800 service lines with lead “goose neck” connections that must be replaced over the next 20 years. The cost has been roughly estimated at $5,000 each — for a total of $9 million — although the council noted Monday that Hebert’s cost for 30 replacements in the West C Street project were pegged at about $2,850 each. Stanchina pointed out that the cost in this instance could be lower because the houses are fairly close to the water main.

Funding will come for the city’s water capital improvement fund, sewer fund, capital improvement fund and local streets fund. The project was designed in 2019 by Coleman Engineering Co. but construction was delayed until this year. Coleman had estimated a cost of $1.5 million.

In other action, the council:

— Approved the purchase of a used street sweeper from Bell Equipment Co. of Lake Orion for $96,400, provided it meets bid specifications. The council had tested the mechanical sweeper offered by Bell before soliciting bids, and there were no other offers. The budget for the purchase was $100,000. The cost for a new sweeper would be about $266,000, Stanchina said.

— Agreed to increase the base wage rate for part-time firefighters from $10.88 per hour to $13.40. The city hopes to hire at least one or two additional part-time firefighters to reduce overtime costs. After orientation, the wage will be reduced by $1 per hour for the first 400 hours worked. The current starting wage for the first 400 hours is $10.38 per hour and that figure now will be $12.40 per hour.

— Approved a zoning ordinance amendment to ease off-street parking standards. The amendment allows the city’s planning commission to review parking situations and make adjustments if there is sufficient justification, rather than requiring a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Under the current ordinance, off-street parking for other than residential uses is required to be either on the same lot or within 300 feet of the building. In the downtown, however, some existing buildings are more than 300 feet from municipal lots and there are no other options.

— Heard Stanchina report that reopening of the City Hall lobby has been delayed, due to items needed to install a sneeze guard. Once the lobby does open, the public will still be encouraged to conduct as much business as possible through the phone, mail or drop box. Monday’s meeting was conducted with social distancing for the audience. Council members and staff were separated by clear plastic barriers. Mayor Dale Alessandrini also encouraged wearing masks in public spaces to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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