Macomb City Council announcing winning bids for street repair projects.

Steven Barnum, News editor

Alderman-at-Large Dennis Moon led the city council on Tuesday night’s meeting, which featured four unanimous votes. In the first vote, the City of Macomb decided to award the De- Bold family with a lease for 314 E Lafayette St. The DeBolds plan to use the building as a drive thru coffee shop called Bold Brew House, and don’t plan on making any major renovations to the interior or exterior of the structure.

In the second vote, the council approved the changes to the Downtown Renovation Grant Program, which the city amended and renamed in 2018. Aldermen Annette Carper and Moon made suggestions to improve the amendment after ample discussions with Downtown Development Director, Kristen Terry.

One of the changes that Terry incorporated into the final proposal dealt with the clause stating that downtown businesses would not be eligible to win the grant more than once in three years. The initial clause was designed to give everyone opportunities to improve their business, but the council decided that it was unnecessary. Now, businesses that receive the grant one year will not be discouraged from applying again the next year.

“This particular amendment reflects this administration’s suggestions,” City Attorney Kristen Petrie said.

For new business, the city council selected the winning bidder for its street cape-sealing project. The city entertained offers for the project last week and four companies submitted bids. AC Pavement Striping Company will complete the project for roughly $249,000, which is less than the city’s original estimation of $300,000.

The streets that will undergo the cape sealing are listed as followed: Madison, Lafayette, Center, Calhoun, Grant, Washington, Clay, Dudley, Indian Trail, Jackson and Home.

The city also approved a cracksealing street repair project for $17,450. Complete Asphalt Service submitted the lowest of the bids, which ranged up to $28,000. The city estimated that this project would cost $30,000. When combining costs of both of the street projects, City Administrator Dean Torreson said that they are more than economically efficient.

“Going into this summer we had $350,000 to work with and this will be a total of about $265,000,” Torreson said, “so we are coming in under our allotted amount for this summer. There are some engineering costs, but very little.”

Despite being under budget, Moon said that the city should anticipate additional repairs and costs since Macomb has endured extreme winter weather.

“We might be able to expand it because with the severity of this winter, streets are going to need a little extra work, we’ll just have to see how it goes and we’ll do the most we can with what we have,” Moon said.

When it comes to the difference between cape sealing and crack sealing, Torreson explained that the former is the more solid approach. The cape seal method is also expected to offer durability for at least five years. The city will prioritize sealing the streets with the most need.

“It preserves the life of the street and that’s the goal of this project,” Torreson said. “We have so many needs, so we have to pick and choose which streets are too far gone and which ones can still be preserved for the future.” Both of the projects will take place in the next fiscal year this summer, so the funding will not come out of this year’s budget.

During next week’s committee of the whole meeting, city officials will discuss a potential redevelopment plan for the property at 133 W Jackson St. Petrie said that the property and project plans meet all of the guidelines under the state law. This will be on the agenda for first reading, but an extensive discussion is expected.