By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners will try to conceive a plan to come up with another million dollars to finish Boyne City-Charlevoix Road after bids came in higher than expected recently.
Charlevoix County Road Commission Manager Pat Harmon had estimated the total cost to reconstruct the remaining 10 miles of road would be around $3.5 million, but the low bids opened on Feb. 3 in both Boyne City and down in Lansing totaled closer to $4.5 million.
“We’re short a million dollars and if the board (Charlevoix Charlevoix County Commissioners) can’t come up with another way to pay for it, they’ll have to cut approximately three miles out of it (road project,)” Harmon said, adding that the shortfall would likely result in no construction somewhere near the halfway point of the unfinished road.
Charlevoix County Commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m. On Friday Feb. 17, for a meeting of the whole to discuss their options.
No decisions will be made at the meeting and the public is welcome.
Harmon had projected the lower cost with the assumption that asphalt prices would not jump substantially.
The low bid for the portion of road from Sumner to Stephens was $1,468,950 and the remaining 7.5-mile portion put out for bids by the State of Michigan was $2,968,628.90 for a total of roughly $4.437 million.
Charlevoix County Commissioner Rich Gillespie (R-District 6) said he was dismayed by the news.
“They did surprise me, and the fact that the bids were literally $2,000 apart proves the numbers were crunched as hard as they could be,” he said.
Gillespie said there is no time to waste in finding a solution.
“It’s time to get this done for the best interest of Charlevoix County,” he said. “Waiting’s not going to do any good.”