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Council tackles road repairs, pickleball

May 28, 2023

Aug 19, 2023

ESCANABA — The Escanaba City Council took action Thursday to wrap up the Stephenson Avenue project and to bring pickleball courts to the Catherine Bonifas Civic Center.

Paving Stephenson Avenue is a sore spot for residents living on the street, who have waited months for the roadway to be paved after it was torn up to replace water lines last fall. City officials said a breakdown with a subcontractor that was supposed to do concrete work for the project was the primary cause of the delay.

To bring the project to completion, the council approved two separate bids Thursday, one for material testing and one for paving work.

The material testing, which is required anytime the city does a project with the Michigan Department of Transportation, was awarded to Coleman Engineering Company, of Escanaba, for an estimated cost of $5,700. The scope of the testing will include earthwork and bituminous aggregate base, field and laboratory of hot mix asphalt, and HMA mixture testing.

The paving portion of the project was awarded to Payne and Dolan, of Escanaba, for an amount not to exceed $695,065.

A different kind of paving — the creation of eight dedicated ­pickleball courts — was also on the council’s agenda. The council was asked to pass a resolution of support for a grant application through the MI Community Center state grant program. If approved, the city would not have any financial obligation directly related to the courts’ construction at the facility.

“I think this whole idea was pretty ingenious on (Escanaba Recreation Director Kim Peterson’s) part, to include the pickleball courts … right by the civic center, because there’s lots of pickleballers that are desperate to have courts, and this is another way to try to get something done,” said Council Member Karen Moore.

The covered outdoor courts would be constructed outside the civic center, between the building and the water tower. There would be no impact on the city’s ice rink, which is also located outside the building every winter.

The recreation department has not yet determined if these would be the only pickleball courts located in the city. A grant is still out for review for a plan that would place pickleball courts at Royce Park, however, no decision has been made on whether or not both projects would move forward if both grants are received.

The council also voted to allow Escanaba Public Safety to contract with InfiniClean cleaning services for custodial services at the public safety building. There has not been a custodian at the building since the end of July, 2022.

The individuals who are cleaning the building will be subject to background checks by EPS and will also be required to pass a test from the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) to ensure they are equipped to work around the confidential information that is present in the building.

The council also voted to approve the purchase of a 2023 Freightliner Chassis Bucher 65VT Street Sweeper from MTech, of Cleveland, Ohio, in the amount of $325,000 for the public works department. The item was included in the city’s budget.

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