Large turnout expected for Hayes bid opening

September 26, 2014

GE DIGITAL CAMERABy Rosemary Horvath

Hayes Township Supervisor Terry Acton expects a groundswell at a special meeting Oct. 14 when the township board opens sealed bids for a proposed building project estimated at $2.6 million.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Community Center on Grant Road, south of East Cranberry Lake Road, formerly a Commission on Aging meal site.

Acton explained the venue change is due to a need to move from a small space to a larger space because “we’re expecting too large a turnout to handle in the Town Hall.”

The Town Hall on Townline Road accommodates around 30 people snuggly. Last December nearly 70 people showed up to learn about the proposal.

Officials propose razing the existing township offices and enlarging and remodeling the Civic Center which was vacated a few years ago due to faulty equipment.

A multi-purpose building is to be renamed the Hayes Township Complex, if it is built. Acton said “we want it to be a community center more than a township hall.”

The plan is to consolidate all the township functions at the one site. The Community Center on Grant Road will eventually be marketed and sold. Commission on Aging began moving out equipment into its new location for a meal site at the former Knights of Columbus building, located between St. Athanasius Catholic Church and the County Building property.

A Civic Center redo includes constructing township offices at one end and a commercial kitchen at the other. The center will be designed to attract a multitude of community activities.

Acton said the township board hopes to classify a remodeled complex into a “premier emergency shelter” for the county. If plans move forward, there are grants for specific features such as a security system available.

The township already has qualified for a low-interest loan from USDA Rural Development for some equipment in a commercial kitchen.

Architects Goudreau & Associates presented a video display of three proposals at the December meeting. A majority present chose the final proposal.

Township residents now have an opportunity to select a bid at the October meeting.

A preconstruction meeting held recently drew four good-sized companies interested in bidding, Acton said.

A few are from the region and others are closer to Harrison.

“All the bids will be the first glance local officials will have of the cost,” Acton added.

Acton contends he and the board will downsize the plan if none of the bids meet the estimated $2.6 million.

A general contractor hires subcontractors which the board has determined should be from the local area as much as possible.

Similar to the Clare County Transportation Center, Hayes Township hopes to move in the direction of green technology.

A favored feature is a geothermal system for heating and cooling. A test well proved “very positive,” Acton said.

“The test ran for three days and results were excellent. It will take 10 wells each 300 feet deep to take care of our heating and cooling system.”

Officials had considered building a solar array except return on investment was quicker using geothermal. Acton said the payback should take about 8 years.


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