City to move funds to pay for demolition

ALPENA -The Alpena Municipal Council held a public hearing during its regular meeting Monday to get approval to use money from the brownfield local site remediation revolving fund. The city intends to take $69,050 to pay for the demolition and cleanup of the Beach Motel, which the city recently purchased.

The council voted 5-0 to approve moving the funds.

City Manager Greg Sundin said the fund consists of money collected from a TIF from Lafarge and Alpena Marc LLC. Currently there is more than $115,000 in the fund, which is designed for development by the city. Sundin said there is other work that needs to be done before the motel on State Avenue can be torn down.

“The next steps include an asbestos and lead survey, the removal of the asbestos by a certified contractor and the structure can be demolished and the site restored,” Sundin said.

Sundin said the amount being taken from the fund should be less than what the project will actually cost. He said the estimates were intentionally made high, because if the city requested a lower amount and the cost was higher, another hearing and more logistics would need to be done again.

“If the cost were to exceed what we brought into the plan, then we would have to go back and amend it to access the rest of the funds,” Sundin said. “If you have high estimates and the numbers come in low, then the funds aren’t utilized and remain in the fund.”

Sundin said the current owner of the motel has until Oct. 1 to vacate the building and work could begin within two weeks after it is vacant. He said he believes the project will be complete in late October or early November.

In other business:

the council voted to move forward in designing a smartphone app for the city. The app would provide information about the city, a calendar and other important information. There is no timetable in place for the app’s completion.

the council voted to hire Dean Marine and Excavating to do the dredging project at the harbor. The city was awarded more than $800,000 to have the harbor dredged, but the quote from the contractor came in at $511,500. The balance of the money will remain with the state. City Engineer Rich Sullenger said the money left over could be disbursed next year to other communities that need harbor work.

the council voted to approve renewing its contract with Merit to continue providing Internet service. The deal is for five-years and will cost the city $1,380 a year. Alpena County is a partner with the city for the the service and will pay the same amount if it is approved by the board of commissioners.

the Intergovernmental Council will meet Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at the APlex.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at