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'I feel very good about the projects chosen'



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July 28, 2010 - Ortonville- The purchase of a new truck, replacement of a 100-foot section of sidewalk and repaving of at least two and possibly three, roads will happen this fall after the village council approved a spending plan for roughly $80,000 of a $500,000 fund balance.

"I feel very good about the projects chosen," said Village Manager Larry Brown. "These are roads that definitely need to be improved, some of the worst roads in the village."

Discussion over which roads to improve consumed most of the July 26 meeting. Brown recommended to the council that resurfacing of South Street between the bridge near the library and south to M-15 be postponed at this time, as the road could be eligible for federal funding later. However, the soonest the village could receive the funding would be 2014 and Council President Ken Quisenberry said, "I hate to wait on money we may or may not get. We need South Street done."

Councilmember Melanie Nivelt called Ball Street from the bridge to Cedar Street "horrible" and Councilmember Aileen Champion agreed and added that Narrin Street might as well be a dirt road in the terrible condition it is in.

"We are putting new homes there, yet we can't take the time or initiative (to improve the roads)," she said. "It puts us in a bad light. I think we have to do these roads, even though South Street has more traffic."

The council ultimately decided to have a 2-inch layer of asphalt placed over Ball Street from the bridge to Cedar Street at an estimated cost of $16,500, as well as the same improvement on Narrin Street from Mill to Myron streets, costing approximately $11,800.

If the village were to bring South Street to federal government standards, with grinding down, resurfacing, joint repairs, guard rail replacement, and ADA ramps, the cost would likely be about $305,000.

Instead, Brown plans to get an estimate on resurfacing South Street in the same manner as Narrin and Ball, by simply putting asphalt over the existing road.

Decisions regarding other improvements came more readily—the council unanimously approved the purchase of a new 2011 GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickup truck, at a cost of roughly $34,000, for the Department of Public Works. The truck will replace a 1989 truck the DPW is currently using. Councilmembers also agreed a 100-foot section of sidewalk on Varsity Drive near Edwards Street should be replaced, at a cost of about $1,000. DPW employees will be called upon to make other, smaller repairs to sidewalks around the village.

Brown said he will determine how to bid all projects soon and would like to have work completed by late summer.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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