October 25, 2014

Sims, road commission to blacktop Terrace

Accepts, vacates Garage Street in Oak Knoll

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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SIMS TWP. — The Sims Township Board voted unanimously to pave Terrace Road off Au Gres Avenue and to create a catch basin for the road during its meeting Aug. 21.

According to Sims Supervisor Rodney Francis, Terrace is currently a gravel road that washes out during storms. Since it is on a hill, the water runs down and dumps mud and gravel onto the accompanying sidewalk, Francis said.

“There are a lot of residents down there, so that’s our reason for the blacktop,” Francis said.

Francis estimated the road to be blacktopped is roughly 600 feet long, and said the Arenac County Road Commission estimates the project would cost about $8,183. Francis said the road commission would pay half of the cost, so the township would be liable for no more than $4,500.

With a blacktop road, Francis said water running downhill could move quicker and cause other problems, so the board approved a $2,550 bid by Killingbeck’s Excavating to construct a catch basin to get most of the water out.

The runoff would also have to make its way through grass and rock, which Francis believed would slow it down before entering what would effectively be a dry well.

“There’s an existing storm drain that needs to move anyway,” Francis said. “So we’ll move a catch basin to get most of the water out.”

“I don’t think we should do the blacktop without figuring out where the water will go,” Francis added.

To help deal with the possibility of the water overflowing, Francis said dirt would have to be moved around to allow the water to move toward the Saginaw Bay.

Though they need to be careful about runoff going into the bay, Francis said Dennis Killingbeck does not believe he will need a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, since runoff would not be going over the sea wall.

In total, the work will end up costing the township roughly $7,000 out of the $38,000 Francis said had been taken in this year for road work.

The work on Terrace will coincide with repairs being done to Delano Road in the township as well, and Francis said the same contractors will be working on both projects. The Delano Road project is being funded 100 percent by the road commission, he said. Both projects should start in September after Labor Day, Francis said, and he hoped they would be completed by the end of October.

The board expressed interest in working on Crescent Avenue next year, though to do the entirety of the road at once Francis said the board would have to save the remaining money from this year’s road fund to put toward it.

The board also took action to vacate Garage Street in the Oak Knoll subdivision, first accepting it as a public street before dropping it from the rolls.

Treasurer Marci Preuter said she lives in the subdivision and called it a “paper road” that barely exists in reality. She said its planned use was to provide access to the waterfront. The street runs parallel to the waterfront, she said, and residents can access other roads without it.

The street’s removal from the rolls gets it out of legal limbo, Francis said, and allows the property it exists on to be officially given over to the property owners adjacent to it.

The resolutions to accept and vacate Garage Street passed 4-1, with Clerk Wanda Boley casting the dissenting vote in both cases.

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