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Douglas eyes DPW site work firm

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Scott Sullivan, Editor

Douglas City Council was set to vote Tuesday on hiring Allegan-based Scott’s Landscaping for $49,337.70 to clear and do site work on the city’s planned 66th Street public works site.

Douglas, which has long looked to move public works from two sites — the northeast corner of Water Street and Wiley Road, and the Wade’s Bayou downtown waterfront park — bought a now-vacant 9.59-acre former orchard south of Wiley and east of I-196 for $48,873.23 from Donald Carpenter of Grand Rapids last year as a possible new public works location.

The city is developing Wade’s Bayou as a marina, and its Water Street-Wiley Road public works site is also landlocked.

Council is seeking more space for storage and operations for the department of public works, which is responsible for maintaining 17 miles of city streets. This includes sweeping, paving, snow removal and salting, pothole repair, crosswalk maintenance, traffic sign placement and striping.

In addition, the DPW maintains city hall, its garage and the Douglas Police Department building; parks, playgrounds, ball fields, boat launch facilities, bridges, public restrooms and beach; plants new trees in public rights-of-way and trims city-owned trees; maintains downtown street lighting, landscaping and parking lots; hangs seasonal banners; assists general setup and cleanup of civic events and maintains city-owned equipment.

“As you recall,” new city manager Rich LaBombard told council in an Aug. 29 memo, “(engineers) Prein & Newhof attempted to solicit bids for the site clearing and culvert work (earlier this summer) and didn’t receive any responses.

“Subsequently, the city was approached by Scott’s Landscaping to discuss the project in more detail,” the manager continued.

“After communicating with Prein to get a better understanding of the cope of work, Scott’s submitted a quote of $49,337.70. Funding for this activity is available in General Fund Buildings and Grounds Capital Outlay budgets,” LaBombard said.

Scott’s work will include:

  • Site clearing and grubbing including removal of all trees, stumps, brush and other vegetative materials as indicated on the drawings (see graphic nearby). Materials may be shredded and left onsite in a stockpile at a location determined by the city. Material not shredded shall be removed from the site.
  • Removing existing topsoil from all areas proposed for the gravel drive, gravel surface and 44×55-foot storage shelter. Topsoil shall be stockpiled onsite at a location determined by the city and may be used for surface restoration outside the wetland area.
  • Existing topsoil in the wetland area under the proposed embankment fill shall be removed, stockpiled onsite and used to restore the embankment side slopes prior to placement of the specified wetland edge seeding.
  • A 6-inch thick, Michigan Department of Transportation approved sand building pad will be compacted in place for the proposed storage shelter. The top of the pad shall be 6 inches below grade of the adjacent proposed gravel area.

Douglas, in 2013, bought 16.5 acres of the former Mi Ro Golf Course north of Wiley and west of Ferry Street from Joe Migas for $196,600, then annexed that land — which was adjacent to the then western city limits — from Saugatuck Township with an eye to moving some public works operations there.

The city dropped that plan after residential neighbors protested. That land, which lies west of the now-vacant former Haworth plant, is being eyed as part of larger mixed-use development.

A Douglas Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is seeking state funds to raze the old 156,900-square-foot factory at 200 Blue Star Hwy., which would be phase one of that effort.