The Belleville Downtown Development Authority voted unanimously on Sept. 15 to give a no-bid contract to Davenport Brothers Construction for construction of the side streets and Five Points as part of the Main Street project.
Dave Vallier of Spicer Engineers said that the Michigan Department of Transportation, which had given a grant for some of the work, was requiring more engineering for Five Points and the side streets, so that portion of the contract was removed from the bidding.
He said additional signage will be required for the Five Points asphalt work, with a lot of flag men in use.
Vallier said the DDA had to decide whether to roll the side streets and Five Points into the Phase 1 work that Davenport was doing as a change order or to bid it out, which would take some time and delay the work, probably until spring.
“In the interest of expediency, I make a motion we go with the Phase 1 change order,” said DDA member Ken Voigt. This was seconded by Gary Snarski and, after discussion, passed unanimously by the DDA members.
There was no estimate announced for the cost of the work.
Voigt noted that Davenport had bid an excellent unit price for the Phase 1 streetscape work.
Harlan Davenport stood up in the audience to leave with a big smile on his face, commenting, “I’m a home boy.” Davenport Brothers is located in Belleville.
(Two days earlier, Davenport Brothers received another local, no-bid contract, this one from the school district for a second temporary student parking lot at Belleville High School at a cost of $36,528.80.)
Vallier said the Five Points intersection will not be started until the whole road is opened up.
“I’d hate to start the roads next year and disrupt businesses on this side of the street,” said DDA chairman Kerreen Conley.
Vallier reminded the DDA that they told the merchants they would be providing parking on the side streets while work is being done on Main.
“We don’t want to push things off to next year,” Voigt said.
Vallier also said Blue Ribbon Construction is at the Village Park site and paving of the paths would take place in a week or so.
In other business at the Sept. 15 DDA meeting, the DDA:
* Approved allocating $5,500 for the celebration that is being planned for the end of the Main Street project, sometime in November. A date will not be set until the end of September, when they can see how the construction is going. They will be asking for the closure of the street for a few hours for the event. The exact plans are being kept secret, for now;
* Learned there were two winners from the dining promotion and a Harvest Time Bingo promotion is being planned, with a drawing for a big prize;
* Approved clarifications for the façade program;
* Approved ordering American flags and seasonal banners at a cost not to exceed $8,500;
* Approved changing the holiday lights to LED in colors red, white, green, and blue;
* Heard Mayor Richard Smith note that Tuscan Manor was burning as the meeting was being held and it was nice to see Van Buren Township and Belleville working together and the mutual aid was greatly appreciated; and
* Heard Main Street Flowers owner Jane Vesche offer to present a proposal at an upcoming meeting on snow removal on Main Street. Snarski said they looked at that in the past and found it would be $10,000 per snowfall. Vesche asked them again to let her bring back a proposal and Conley reluctantly approved her request.