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| 2 min. read | by Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com|

On Nov. 4, the Chelsea city council unanimously voted to approve a $168,050 bid from Hard Rock Drilling, LLC for improvements pertaining to curbs, paving, and storm drains (as well as the directional bore of stormwater pipes to the detention pond at Silver Maples) at the end of Flanders Street.

City Manager John Hanifan reported that Midwestern Consulting had designed, advertised, and bid the needed improvements and received the singular bid for the project despite extending the date to accept bids.

“It’s somewhat unfortunate, in discussion with surrounding communities and the county, that’s the way the bid climate has been for the last 60-90 days,” said Hanifan.

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Hanifan’s comments in the city packet reported that it was slightly higher than the Engineering estimate of $150,000 but with that current bid climate, that it was still an acceptable price. He also noted that with the public bid process complete and an extension already allowed, re-bidding would only delay the project further while not necessarily guaranteeing a better price.

A wetland permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is still needed.

Hanifan noted that the schedule for the project would be dependent on receiving the permit from EGLE but other improvements, weather permitting, could begin any time.

Councilmember Tony Ianelli asked if the improvements addressed concerns from residents in between Flanders and Book Streets, residents on both sides have brought concerns to council pertaining to water damage in their basements, and Hanifan touched on the work session about a year ago with residents in that area.

“When we had that work session with residents almost a year ago now,” said Hanifan. “we talked about the need to work on a regional solution first. At the time it appeared an acceptable way to go about things. We have talked about following up, once this is in place, with adding some sort of catch basins in yards. That would probably take a special assessment if it goes too far. The hope is that, regionally, stormwater will be better there. Will it specifically keep everyone’s area in that basement from getting wet? Answer to that is no. we couldn’t commit to that.”

Councilmember Cheri Albertson asked about an estimated timeline with all of the planned improvements and Hanifan responded that from a construction standpoint it shouldn’t be more than 60 days from start to finish and really was determined by the permit being awarded.

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