In early 2007, the City of Saugatuck asked F&V to assist in preparing a plan to identify the short and long term infrastructure needs of the community. F&V completed a Capital Improvements Plan focusing primarily on roads, storm drainage, water and sanitary sewer. F&V completed an assessment of each and compiled the data into a report and onto maps to help illustrate the various needs. We worked with City council and staff to develop the priorities for improvements with available funds over time as well as bonding a large capital improvements project to get the highest priority items done immediately and continuing to complete the remaining priorities over time. Council chose to implement a large project through a bond issue and tackle the high priority items immediately. F&V assisted the City in defining the project and communicating the need for the project to voters on the website, through mailings and a series of public meetings. The bond referendum passed in the fall of 2008 and we began the design of the reconstruction of four major roads with utilities. The 2008/2009 economy affected bid prices in a positive way with the low bid coming in almost $500,000 under the estimate. The City used these funds plus other funds on hand to add $1 million worth of road and utility work for 2010 to the contract.
Scheduling of the construction was extremely important to this City which relies heavily on tourism as it goes from a population of under 2,000 people in the winter to over 10,000 during the construction season. F&V prepared a construction schedule that would complete the two most heavily travelled commercial roads in the early spring and fall with the less utilized streets being completed in the summer months. One of the major streets was completed in time to have a ribbon cutting before the July 4th Holiday. The second major street was started after Labor Day and completed prior to winter. Construction had a significantly smaller negative affective on business than was expected by anyone with very few complaints from business, residents and tourists.
The 2009 work was completed for approximately $100,000 under the bid amount which will go to increase the work that will be done in 2010. Once complete in 2010, the project will have reconstructed the City’s ten worst condition streets with new roadway, improved drainage, watermain and sanitary sewer.