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Bid awarded for Prince Drewry lot improvements

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published August 17, 2016

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Rehabilitation of Prince Drewry Park is set to commence after Clinton Township approved its tabulated bid offers.

On July 20, the Clerk’s Office received and processed three bids for the project, with the low bidder being James P. Contracting Inc. Bids were reviewed by Giffels Webster, the Clinton Township Public Services Department and the Clinton Township Planning Department.

The total base bid for the west end of the parking lot was $52,266.80 — an amount that fits into the township’s Community Development Block Grant budget. An optional bid of $11,172.70 for the east end of the lot was also approved.

At the July 25 Board of Trustees meeting, Supervisor Bob Cannon suggested taking that $11,000 from the general fund and adding an amendment to the general fund budget at an appropriate juncture. The board unanimously approved the bids.

Scott Chabot, senior project manager for Giffels Webster, the township’s engineering firm, said the project involves pulverizing existing asphalt pavement and mixing gravel to produce a final surface.

When asked by Trustee Paul Gieleghem about how long the surface would last due to the land being a former landfill, Chabot approximated a two-year period.

“It’ll look pretty much like it (does) now,” Chabot said.

Gieleghem said he wanted to see the lot in question for himself, and he was “amazed” to see huge shifts in soil. He alluded to the park’s condition being a result of pre-DEQ regulations.

He wondered whether more could be done in terms of a healthy general fund budget.

Cannon said that rather than complete the project in increments, the township should get as much done now as possible and avoid disrepair in the short term. He said they’re doing the best they can for the site and the kids who play there.

“That is a former landfill,” Cannon said. “The one good thing is that there was no garbage from Clinton Township put in that landfill. Years ago other communities owned it and they did it.

“We have the unfortunate problem of redoing the basketball courts every couple of years. Currently, they are in good condition. The parking lots are in terrible condition.”

Chabot added that the entire lot will be gravel, with 10-foot strips on the sides right before the sidewalks. The scope of the project involves mixing the gravel with limestone.

“The exception would be where the handicap spaces are will be paved with concrete, and each of the approaches on Kentucky — there’s two of them — will have a 10-foot additional concrete strip in addition to driveway approaches,” Chabot said. “So, they prevent the gravel from migrating over into the walkway or into the street.”

It will require occasional maintenance, he added.

Treasurer Bill Sowerby, in an attempt to quell one resident’s safety concerns, said the instability of the land creates problems. It’s not a normal surface; there are peaks and valleys that make it more difficult to preserve.

“It’s impossible to maintain a parking lot like that,” Sowerby said. “You’d have to rip up the asphalt and start all over again. … We can maintain it. That’s the beauty of this solution.

“And if it doesn’t (work), down the road we always have the option to take a different approach with it with a different material, whether it’s asphalt or some other new product. But we haven’t tried this before and we think it’s a good solution.”

Clerk Kim Meltzer pondered whether the park is really a noble representation of who Prince Drewry actually was, and whether the township is doing its due diligence in regard to offering a good park experience.

She gave the backstory to Drewry’s life: He was a World War I veteran; he organized and was a deacon at the Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church in the township; he was a Macomb County deputy sheriff; he was the first black man to serve on a local board; he served on the Clintondale Community Schools board for about 30 years.

“This was a great man that did a lot for the community,” Meltzer said. “I’m thinking, we have this park on this landfill that is never going to be great. It might be a good place for the kids to come and play. … I don’t know if we couldn’t in the near future think about moving the park to a nicer place, where it’s not on a landfill and maybe we could have an area for kids to play with and maybe have a flower garden or a vegetable garden that the community could really wrap its arms around.”

She did admit, though, that this is the best solution for the present time.

Chabot said that a progress clause exists in the contract, stating that the contractor must perform and complete the work between Aug. 29 and Sept. 22. The project should take an estimated two weeks, which includes the restoration period.