By Seth Kinker,

During the Manchester Village Council meeting Jul 2, Neal Billetdeaux, a landscape architect for Smith Group-JJR, was on hand to tell council that public feedback from the initial parks plan had been heard.

Most comments were incorporated into the new plan and Billetdeaux said that it is “98% finished.”

After discussing lighting, one new incorporation into the plan, to be added, Billetdeaux told council that it could be added on near the end of the construction once he could get in sync with the company Billetdeaux plans to use to install the lights. Along with paver and block colors, also discussed at a prior council meeting, Billetdeaux advised council that those decisions can be added on later as well. These decisions will be determined at the next council meeting, which Billetdeaux will also attend.


Billetdeaux and Village Manager Jeff Wallace planned to meet with the dredging contractor July 3 for pre-construction planning that would kick off the first stage in the River Raisin Park construction process. The meeting would go over the Village’s obligations and the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) responsibilities regarding the project.

Billetdeaux let council know he would like to get bids out for construction of the park that week with a July 25 submittal date if they were comfortable with that. He also told council that it may not be the best time as far as putting out bids and he didn’t know who might respond with most companies already having their projects set for the summer. He told council he would be sending out the bids to a list of ten contractors, and in the best of worlds, would lead to a Fall bid for Spring construction in 2019.

Council later talked about the current environment around construction bids. The goal is to get the park done by Fall, but if bids were to come in over conceptual costs, the potential option of waiting for a later season to begin construction would be discussed.