Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Council approves road repair bid

BESSEMER - With only one bid submitted, it was a relatively easy choice for the Bessemer City Council Monday night when they accepted Snow Country Contracting's bid for the reconstruction of North Moore Street.

The repair, which will see a complete reconstruction of the street between U.S. 2 and Mary Street, is scheduled to be completed by July 31, according to City Manager Michael Uskiewicz.

"A total reconstruct ... sidewalk, curb and gutter," said Uskiewicz, explaining the extent of the project. It will also include the installation of a fire hydrant on the west side of the street.

While the project will cost $135,837, most of that cost will be picked up by a state grant. The grant only requires that a local municipality provide 20 percent of the project in matching funds, meaning the state will pay $108,670 with Bessemer contributing the remaining $27,167.

This number was slightly higher than the state's engineers had estimated for a project cost - the estimate had been $111,574 - meaning the city had to approve adding an additional $4,667 to what they budgeted for their portion of the costs.

Uskiewicz explained that higher than expected costs came from several add-ons to the project that hadn't been initially calculated.

After the vote, Councilman Al Gaiss expressed disappointment that only one company submitted a bid for the project.

"It's unknown what may have been bid, it may have been higher bids, it may have been lower bids than what it came out to be," said Gaiss.

Uskiewicz explained that the project was classified as a small project and many companies preferred to only submit bids on bigger projects.

Among other actions, the council:

- Approved rates for the election workers in today's election. According to information provided to the council, the election chairperson will be paid $8.50 an hour with the other workers making $8.25 an hour.

- Approved adding the delinquent water bills to the city's summer tax bills in an effort to help the city collect the outstanding funds. According to the information provided at the meeting, the total amount due is $15,095.