Village authorizes reconstruction of Eighth Street Bridge at original location

BALDWIN — A decision was made by the Village of Baldwin council during its July 12 meeting for the Eighth Street Bridge, which washed out during flooding in July, 2019, to be reconstructed at its original location, as opposed to other possible locations.

"Construction will be scheduled for construction season 2022," said Village President Jim Truxton, who is happy to see the project moving forward. "The bridge had been deteriorating for a long time. If not for the 2019 flood, we would still have a bridge across there, but there would just have been bandaid repairs."

Also during the meeting, council members authorized the clerk to sign the Fishbeck proposal on Drinking Water Asset Management Scope of Services plan. The village was approved for a $234,000 grant from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to cover the costs of the project.

The program first identifies, replaces any lead and copper fittings within the system, and secondly, makes upgrades to portions of the system which are aging. The grant time frame allows tasks to be completed over a three year period. Much of the work will be performed by Infrastructure Alternatives, Inc. (IAI).

Also during the meeting, council members adopted a resolution to proceed becoming certified with the program, Redevelopment Ready Communities. Redevelopment Ready Communities Is a certification program available for any community in Michigan to participate in.

The program targets specific areas for reinvestment, supports development of master plans, markets redevelopment opportunities, creates business friendly environments and more.

"With this program, we are ready to go to work, inviting community involvement on things such as businesses, housing, internet services. I think this is a good thing and really think there are long-term benefits," Truxton said. "This would also allow for assistance from the state with plans, master plans and eligibility for some grants. Anything worth having is worth working for, regardless of what you hear on the six o'clock news."

In other business:

• Council members discussed a property acquisition — taking steps to see if the Michigan Department of Natural Resources would sell the 15-acre state property to the village, bordering the river near the former Trout Farm property.

• Council members discussed advertising for an ordinance enforcement officer.

• Truxton said the Baldwin Downtown Development Authority was moving forward with West Alley improvements and getting easements signed.

• Council members reviewed sealed bids for a 2006 F250 Ford pickup, which they chose Brian Orlander of Tustin with his bid of $525.

The next regular board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 9.