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$523K in road work ahead for Leonard's Forest St.



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August 17, 2011 - The sights and sounds of road construction will be present in the Village of Leonard next month as a 1.03-mile stretch of Forest St. undergoes some badly-needed reconstruction and resurfacing.

Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Transportation awarded the project to M.L. Chartier Excavating, Inc.

The Ira-based company was the lowest of nine bidders for the job, quoting a price of $522,928, which was $53,859 less than MDOT's engineers originally estimated.

"I expected it to be at or below that amount," said village President Mike McDonald.

Spanning Forest St. (known as Rochester Rd. outside village limits) from just south of Addison Fire Station #1 all the way north to Gerst Rd., the road construction is expected to occur between Sept. 15 and Nov. 15.

Of the $522,928, MDOT is putting up approximately $418,342 in federal money.

Leonard must pay the remaining $104,586 (a 20 percent match) for construction, plus other costs for the engineering work, bond counsel, financial adviser, the village attorney and public notices.

The village plans to cover the majority of its portion of the costs by selling $150,000 in Michigan Transportation Fund Bonds and paying off the debt over a 15-year period.

"The village council did vote to let the bond for $150,000," McDonald said. "It hasn't been sold yet. That (vote) just happened late last week."

McDonald noted the bond sale won't cover all of Leonard's costs for this project.

"We're going to exceed the $150,000," he said.

He estimated the village will probably have to use at least $10,000 from its coffers.

"We do have some carry-over funds that we do have earmarked for the project," said McDonald, referring to extra monies the village normally carries over from one fiscal year to the next.

McDonald noted the village has already spent nearly $40,000 on engineering and testing for this project that's on top of the aforementioned figures.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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