Road board OKs revised garage plan

LINCOLN – Members of the Alcona County Road Commission gave the go-ahead Wednesday to proceed with a revised 18,000-square-foot maintenance garage design, moving the project one official step closer to construction.

To stay within a $1.3 million budget, the commissioners asked Russo Engineering to reduce the size of the building’s footprint, even though they will be asking the public for a one-time half mill increase on the ballot in August in the event of cost overruns.

The garage area was shortened, road commission Managing Director Jesse Campbell said in his report. The garage will contain space for the storage of 14 trucks, plus four additional trucks in the mechanic’s area.

The next step is to design the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems to flesh out the drawings.

Once other tasks are finalized, the project will go out for bid, about a six-week process, officials said.

Meanwhile, the commission is ordering a large hoop house from a disaster specialties company to shelter trucks this coming winter. The structure, which will be on loan, will not cost the commission any money, Campbell said.

In other business, the board did some buying and selling to maintain its fleet and provide services to townships.

The board approved the purchase of a new $116,000 truck and a $53,000 Bobcat. Grand Traverse Diesel supplied the only bid for the truck, which will be delivered in 140 days. Once painted and equipped at the body shop, the vehicle will be on the road in the spring of 2015.

Three bids to provide equipment for the new truck ranged from $81,610 to $87,438.

Half of the cost of the Bobcat will be covered by insurance reimbursement funds. The cab has heating and air conditioning and the vehicle will be used for regular grounds and maintenance, and on Hubbard Lake Trail, Campbell said.

Bill Miller of Miller Office Machines in Lincoln provided information on new printer systems, because parts for the road commission’s old machine are no longer being made.

“It’s time for your guys to really consider upgrading,” Miller said. “You’re going to be into an all-in-one scanning, faxing, printing unit.”

Printers are now connected to computer operating systems, Miller said, and recommended the county consider leasing a machine. At the end of five years, the county can buy the machine for a dollar, or get a new printer if its operating system changes. The county also will get a discount as a government agency.

The commissioners also approved 17 separate road improvement projects to upgrade road surfaces in the City of Harrisville and county townships. Crews will do the work this summer.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at blehndorff@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.