Safe Routes sidewalks delayed by soil tests
New sidewalks leading to several local schools will likely be delayed until later this summer.
Allegan Township supervisor Steve Schulz said Monday, May 6, that the earliest the Safe Routes to School project could begin was July, according to engineers at Prein & Newhoff.
“Now I’m not even sure whether it’s going to be done this year,” Schulz said at the board meeting. “And if it does have to wait, it will probably have to be re-bid.”
Bids were held up, according to an email from Connie Houk with Prein & Newhoff, when the Michigan Department of Transportation questioned water infiltration rate of soil where some of the paths were set to be constructed.
The project is poised to add sidewalks near Dawson and West Ward elementary schools and L.E. White Middle School using a $650,000 state grant. The township and City of Allegan split the cost of the engineering designs.
Soil tests came back well within required specifications and Prein & Newhoff has resubmitted information to obtain a permit for the work.
Township treasurer Jane Waanders said, “It may not have to wait; they might be able to do it while school is in session.”
If the permit is granted, the next step is for the work to go out for bids.
Township board members retroactively approved the application for a state grant to improve the recycling area at the township hall, 3087 118th Ave. It was due May 1.
The grant application accounts for a $24,540 project and was prepared by Lakeshore Advantage as part of the township’s contract with the economic development organization.
Currently, the township monitors the unsecured area with some video cameras. Unfortunately, some individuals continue to fill the bins with trash. When emptied, the waste hauler weighs the refuse and bills to the township for disposal.
The grant requires at least a 25-percent match, so township board members approved spending $4,540 of its own along with $2,000 in funds collected through the recycling surcharge.
The money will pay to expand the concrete pad and add fencing, a light pole, a new security camera. The area will also have staffed hours of operation.
“It’s really sad, but I have heard a lot of people comment that this would happen, that people would take advantage of it,” Waanders said.