By Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
The Boyne City Commission approved a proposal to move forward with the Douglas St. reconstruction project estimated to cost $300,000.
Boyne City Public Works Superintendent Andy Kovolski presented the C2AE preliminary engineering plans for the proposed Douglas St. reconstruction project to commissioners during their Tuesday Feb. 26 regular meeting.
“I’m in favor of moving forward,” said Boyne City Commissioner Tom Neidhamer. “It’s been through the proper process, we have a need, we had staff go through the process of approving it, we hired the firm to engineer it properly … and the money is budgeted.”
Douglas St. plans include the following: A width of 22 feet of asphalt road cross section with concrete curb and gutter that will bring the total back of curb width to 26 feet;
Installation of a 36-inch storm sewer system;
Installation of a new water main with service leads to the right-of-way line;
Replacement of existing sewer main with leads to the right-of-way;
Installation of a five-foot-wide concrete sidewalk at the back of the curb on the west side of the road;
Closure of the section of Douglas St. from Cedar St. to Pleasant Ave. with this area being returned to green space.
An informational meeting was held Feb. 13 to inform the five residents along Douglas St. of the proposal.
According to Kovolski’s Feb. 22 memo on the project, there was some concern by a resident concerning the sidewalk location at the house on the southwest corner of the intersection of Cedar and Douglas streets.
“They were concerned that they would be required to remove their fence and that there may be an issue with their car protruding onto the sidewalk if they park in front of their garage,” Kovolski stated. “Larry Fox (with C2AE) stated with the sidewalk at (the) back of the curb they will have over 20 feet of parking area at their garage and five feet of green space at their sidewalk.”
Construction is expected to take four to six weeks.
Boyne City Commissioner Derek Gaylord said he would like to have more discussion to ensure the need is as pressing as it appeared.
“I’d like to have a little more detailed feedback,” Gaylord said. “So when a citizen says ‘Why did we have to put in a new storm drain in there?’ What was the cause or what precipitated us getting to this point?”
Boyne City Mayor Ron Grunch said the need is very clear in his mind.
“When you’ve got a 36-inch or a 30-inch storm drain dumping into a 12 (-inch drain) you’ve got a problem,” Grunch said. “When you get a certain volume of water it backs up.”
Kovolski said they have hoped to address the flooding issues in the proposed project area for several years now.
He said it flooded at least four times in 2012 alone.
“For the record could you explain a little more what the ramifications are on those four times a year events?” Gaylord said. “What damage is being done and what are the consequences of not acting on this.”
Kovolski said there has been localized flooding of peoples homes and property in the proposed area.
Gaylord asked how often the citizens affected complain.
“I take a lot of these complaints as part of the street project and there have been several citizens that come in on a regular basis,” said Boyne City Executive Assistant and Harbormaster Barb Brooks.
Boyne City Commissioner Laura Sansom said it appears to be a good project that needs to be approved.
The preliminary design plans were unanimously approved; the project will next go out for bids.