Not this year: Church Street renovations on hold for now

REED CITY – People in Reed City were excited, even thrilled to learn Church Street and the immediate environs would be undergoing substantial renovations.

Water, sewer, curbing, surfacing.

Not yet.

Probably not this year.

Following one delay after another, (not of Reed City making!), the project may now still kick off - next spring.

“This project isn’t dead,” reported city manager Ron Marek. “There are budget issues, and other problems.

“I’m very certain we will not get going on the expected Church Street renovation project this year.

“There’s still a chance, but I seriously doubt any real substantial work will be carried out this year.”

The program involves not only the main focus of the project – Church Street – but also work to be done on Sears Street, Tomahawk and parts of Todd and Lincoln streets.

The most obvious benefit would be to Church Street proper.

“I’m anticipating at this point the work will not be done this year,” continued Marek.

“At this point, everything is in the hands of the USDA and the Rural Development folks out of Chicago.”

If approval to go to bids is given at any time in the near future, it could take two months to actually get the bid package together.

With bid time, evaluation of bids, and finally reaching the decision making point in time, and then needing to have a bond council set a rate structure, there is virtually no way the entire process could be completed in order to break ground yet this year.

“At this stage, we don’t know how much the program is going to cost so we don’t even know if we have the down payment to cover the beginning of work,” Marek said. “It’s all been complicated, and it looks as though these complications will delay the actual start of work.

“I imagine we’ll ultimately award the bid and get our finances in order so that we can start actual work in the spring of 2012.

Marek is a little disappointed the process has taken so long, but he remains confident improvements and renovations will be made to Church Street ...relatively soon.

“In my opinion, this project is still going to go,” he said.

“The physical work is not going to happen this year, but it will take place.”

The city manager did note there would be some serious attempts to keep the existing street reasonably maintained - under the circumstances.

There will be patching, repatching, filling and refilling taking place as needed along Church Street, until the complete renovation can take place.