By Pat Maurer
In a 4-1 vote Monday evening, the Clare City Commission approved a $375,700 bid from Pete’s Contracting for the relocation and construction of Pump Station number 5 at an aboveground site on the north side of the city.
The sanitary pump station now in use is aging and needed to be either upgraded or replaced. The commission, after some deliberation earlier this summer, agreed to move the station to the north side of U.S. 127 adjacent to the carpool parking lot. The new location would enable the station to serve both existing businesses and any expansion on that side of the city.
Commissioner Tom Koch was the dissenting vote earlier and again Monday evening.
The first bid from Pete’s Contracting was $401,155, City Manager Ken Hibl said, much higher than the estimated $364.500 cost for construction, engineering and inspection services.
The bid was only for the construction of the project with another $72,900 needed for engineering and inspections costs.
Other bidders, Isabella Corporation, Robbin Harsh and Central Michigan Contracting were all over $510,000. The city worked with the low bidder to further reduce the costs by eliminating all non-essential work.
Changes included the elimination of a portable crane to remove pumps, adjustments to pipe quantities and alignment and the reduction of the proposed force main size from six-inch to four-inch.
The project will be paid for from the City’s Sewer Fund balance.
In another matter, the Commission heard a brief presentation from Clare Schools Superintendent Doniel Pummell explaining the Regional Enhancement Millage proposal on the November ballot.
Pummell explained that since Proposal A was adopted, schools are no longer allowed to ask for millage for operations, but the Regional Education Service District is allowed to ask voters to approve a millage.
The proposal, 1.5 mills for five years, will generate about $2.8 million annually. Of that amount $1.2 million will fund CTE (Career and Technical Education) program upgrades and expansion, reducing the tuition rate paid to the RESD by local school from $2,300 per student to $500 per student.
The remaining $1.6 million raised annually by the millage would be divided among the five local districts: Clare, Harrison, Farwell, Beaverton and Gladwin Schools, based on enrollment.
Clare’s share would be approximately $395,000, Pummell said and would be used to buy two busses each year for the first two years and one bus per year for the remaining three years; to maintain and improve technology in the district; and in the first two years for Clare Middle School windows, the third year for CMS brickwork; the fourth year for Primary School windows and furniture and CMS auditorium windows and on the fifth year for Primary School student furniture and CMS auditorium windows.
The millage will have to be approved by a majority of voters in the total RESD district, Pummell said.
In other business Monday, the City:
*Recognized the project to build a new pavilion at Pettit Park by Eagle Scout Justin Duffett.
*Unanimously approved a motion to refund two public safety, one water and one sewer existing bonds saving the City about $165,000.
*Set Clare’s Halloween Trick or Treat Hours for October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.
*Accepted the low bid of $10,649.00 from Humphrey Brothers for the cement work at the new Pettit Park pavilion.
*Approved Lapham Engineering for design of the road paving and expansion to the public water system at Pettit Park at a cost of $4,250.