The featured photo shows Boyne City Commissioners Laura Sansom, Delbert “Gene” Towne, Mayor Tom Neidhamer and Commissioner Ron Grunch at last week’s Boyne City Commission meeting. Photo by Beth Gohs
BY BENJAMIN GOHS, EDITOR
The Boyne City Commission unanimously approved the final city facilities project plan at a new lower cost of $5,993,374 after overcoming a nearly $800,000 overage.
According to Boyne City Manager Michael Cain, when the city’s chosen low bidder Hallmark Construction came in with a bid well above what the city had anticipated, some tweaking was necessary.
“As a result, city staff—working with Ray Kendra and his associates at Environment Architects and the apparent low bidder—looked to see where we could potentially incur some savings and/or bring some additional revenue to the project.”
Cuts & Revenues
A combination approach was used to deal with the overage.
Boyne City officials were able to trim $253,626 off the project while coming up with $600,000 in revenues—$250,000 from the city’s Local Street Fund, which will be used for the reconstruction of North Street in association with the facilities project; and, $350,000 from the Boyne City Fire Department’s coffers, which had been saved for future construction.
Cain said the aforementioned group recommended changes to some materials and other items which have not significantly changed the project nor amounted to a decrease in its square-footage.
“I’m confident with the recommendations that are coming before you that it will provide a quality project—not cheapening it to the point that I think anybody in the public would actually notice or with its durability or longevity,” said Cain. “I think we’ll get fine wear out of this project.”
The city’s new facilities will house police, fire, EMS, city hall, the MSU Extension office, and the city museum.
The city’s historic clock restoration project will not be part of the city facilities project but is still expected to occur.
The bonds sold to pay for this project went to Stifel, Nicolaus and Co, Inc of Birmingham, Alabama at a “true interest cost” of 2.747131 percent. Cain said this was significantly lower than the 4.5 percent estimated rate.
As a result, this year’s millage levied on Boyne City property owners will be 1.32 mills. Next year, the rate is expected to be 2.18 mills.
Cain said the millage rate in future years will depend on Boyne City’s taxable value in each year.
The savings to taxpayers will be approximately a half-mill lower than the originally estimated 2.69 mills.
The project is expected to begin on May 2, last for 425 days and the new facility could be complete by July 1, 2017.
Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer asked Kendra to explain the concept of the parts of the project with a “Green Roof.”
Kendra said an example of what is currently proposed is a patio off the commission chambers area which will feature sod and grasses on part of the first floor roof which will add an aesthetic element and also help with stormwater runoff.
The concept of a roof garden has become popular in recent years.
Boyne City Commissioner Laura Sansom asked about the museum display cases and expressed concern there would not be glass display cases for items.
“What’s the point of doing it at all?” she said.
Kendra said the items are merely suggestions at this point and it will be up to the commission to decide on minor aesthetic issues.
Boyne City Commissioner Hugh Conklin asked what caused the bids to come in so much higher.
Kendra said sitework, architectural and electrical costs were up. Labor costs due to an apparent labor shortage were also much higher than anticipated.
Various issues were discussed, including how much money was left over to use on discretionary items.
“I think we’re building in some flexibility,” said Neidhamer. “We don’t want to nitpick this stuff… We want to give the administration the leeway to make decisions throughout the process. And, at the end of the project, assess what we can add.”