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St. Clair Shores City Council approves bid for Senior Activity Center parking lot

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 1, 2024


ST. CLAIR SHORES — At its March 18 meeting, the St. Clair Shores City Council awarded a bid for the Senior Activity Center parking lot construction in a 6-0 vote. The contract went to Metropolitan Concrete.

Councilwoman Linda Bertges was not at this part of the meeting due to a prior engagement.

According to information attached to the meeting’s agenda, 83 companies downloaded the plans and four companies submitted bids. The project went out to bid in January. The agenda material also said that the parking lot reconstruction is funded through Community Development Block Grants.

“Sealed bids were opened on February 27, 2024, and the lowest bidder was Metropolitan Concrete for $1,128,099.25 plus $45,000 for the Alternate Bid for irrigation totaling $1,173,099.25,” information in the agenda packet indicated.

Liz Koto, St. Clair Shores city planner, presented the item and Kyle Seidel, project manager from Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, Inc., added more information. Seidel explained the parking lot will have 66 parking spaces with 10 handicap spaces. There is also a new 0.35-mile loop path and a drinking fountain. A canopy will also be constructed over the entrance. Seidel said parking lot construction will take most of the spring and summer, but there is no construction schedule yet.

According to information in the agenda packet, $884,723.10 was earmarked for the parking lot in the fiscal year 2023/2024 CDBG budget.

“Once the bids were received, and the lowest bidder’s cost was $1,173,099.25, an additional $56,000 of Fiscal Year 24/25 CDBG funds plus $353,696.00 of program income are being reserved for the construction of the lot plus a 20% contingency,” the information stated.

Koto said the increase from a 10% contingency to 20% was due to a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, because the majority of the project is funded by CDBG. She also said there are a few costs that will not be covered by the block grant.

“About $113,000 in storm sewer work, $165,000 for engineering fees and about $22,000 for construction inspection fees,” Koto said. “The grand total is $1.595 million and a little change.”

Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Candice Rusie asked if certain things such as benches and trash bins could be removed from the bid to save money. She would like these components to be completed elsewhere instead of bidding them out.

Koto said adding these amenities would be the best way because they would also have to bid out the installation. City Manager Dustin Lent said the drinking fountain would be a little hard to bid out because of the water line.

“But because a majority of the other items are going to be after the project’s completed, we’ll be able to get started, so it’s not really a timeliness issue,” Lent said. “The benches, and the picnic tables and the trash receptacles, if it is council’s initiative, we could pull those out and just order those.”

He said numerous companies that supply picnic tables also supply trash bins.

Councilman Dave Rubello said he agreed with Rusie.

“You look at some of this stuff and it’s like, ‘How did they come up with that price?’” Rubello said.

Councilman Ronald Frederick said a couple of seniors had concerns about where the handicap spots are located. He also said he discussed those concerns with Rubello. Koto heard the same thing and said federal law requires the spots to be the closest to the main entrance.

“And if you do measure, it is actually closer where they are located right now than, I’ll say, the proposed one by some of the seniors,” Koto said. “Which is these parking spaces that are sort of east of the canopy entrance and east of the new sidewalk.”

Koto also said they have more spaces than required and that they could place any additional spaces somewhere else. Rubello said they can discuss the concerns that were raised at a later time.

Councilman John Caron mentioned the original estimate for the parking lot was around $850,000 and asked what drove the increase in price besides inflation. Seidel said they’ve seen around 13% inflationary increase in the construction industry since they first started talking about prices in 2022.

“We also did add some site amenities that we didn’t probably have at the beginning,” Seidel said.

The added amenities include the walking paths and the drinking fountain with Seidel stating that the higher prices of these amenities could have driven up the price.

“There’s a lot of money in the economy right now,” Seidel said. “So you may see inflation only be 13%, but with the millions of dollars (in) ARPA funds and all the projects going on there’s less contractors to do the work and they’re bidding higher prices because everything costs more now from labor to materials.”

Caron asked if there was any way any of the firms could take the information and update the estimates as needed. Seidel said this was possible.

“When was the last time we got an estimate, and that we’re making sure that those are being updated quarterly before council is being considered to put them out for bid or anything like that,” Caron said.

Seidel said they did do something like that, but he wasn’t sure it came before council.

“We are doing that, it sounds like. Maybe I need to get it to Dustin and the team to let you guys know before we open bids,” Seidel said.

Rubello moved to approve the award with the budget amendment and Frederick supported the motion. They also added language to review amenities such as the trash cans and picnic tables and possibly remove them from the bid if they can find a way to complete them in-house.