The Cheboygan County Road Commission made the decision to table the awarding of bids for the reverse angle parking change in downtown Indian River after there were some discrepancies in the bids received. “The first item is to accept and award the bids for the reverse angle parking change on Straits Highway,” said Road Commission Engineer and Manager Brent Shank. “We received three bids for that.” A couple of the bids that were returned to the road commission had several errors in them, which created the discrepancy between the pricing for the project. The first bid received was from E.F. Wilkinson and Sons of Cheboygan for $52,389. Elmer's Crane and Dozer of Traverse City returned a bid of $75,746.50 and Tri-County Excavating of Harbor Springs turned in a bid for $61,350.80. “The bids came in, the low bid was quite a bit higher than what we were estimating right now,” said Shank. “I had a meeting with Gourdie Fraser about a possible solution to instead of tearing apart what we have done; maybe putting some money on the other side of the road, but I need to discuss this with the township more.” Shank recommended the road commission board formally accept the bids as they had been received and then tabling the matter until further discussion with Tuscarora Township can take place. The timing of the whole project and the scope of it were two factors that led to the issues with the bids being higher than the road commission was expecting. Many of the contractors are currently very busy with other work they need to get done this construction season, so if they bid on other projects those prices are generally higher. The road commission is going to consider doing some of the work on the project in-house in an attempt to cut costs. If they are unable to do some of that work themselves, they can just let the contractors take care of it. “It's possible if that block of Straits Highway was done on the other side of the road, we could get rid of our plowing issue,” said Shank. “But it requires a shift in the centerline.” Part of the project that is being proposed is to saw off part of the bump outs between River Street and Lake Street, then pour the curb up to where the bump out was cut down. This would alleviate the site distance issue, as well as taking care of the problems the road commission ran into this last winter with plowing. One of the main issues that needs to be looked at for the project is how much it is all going to cost. There are the options of doing a lot of the work themselves to help keep costs down, or fixing the west side of the road. “The whole project was predicated on the other side of the road being completed also,” said Shank. “So, I want to talk to the township about what they're going to do. They were supposed to complete the other side to make this side work. So we need to have that discussion with the township.” The goal of the project is to make the area between the two streets safe for the plow trucks in the winter so they are not ruining the underbody plows. The board voted unanimously to table the matter until the discussion can be held with the township, then brought up at the next road commission meeting Sept. 1. Also at the meeting, the board voted to change the time of their Oct. 18 meeting from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. due to a scheduling conflict for Shank. Shank also updated the board on several road projects that will be taking place in the county over the next couple of weeks. Work has already started on Levering Road with curbs already being graded where they need to be. This work will be done Friday, Aug. 19. The road surface will be pulverized after Labor Day according to the current schedule. Club Road in Indian River is also scheduled to start the Tuesday after Labor Day. “It should be a relatively short project,” said Shank. “We're still within our timeframe on that.” The board was also updated with a notice the road commission received from the Michigan Attorney General's office, alerting them that the Michigan Department of Education is being sued by Mead Brothers Excavating, the company who did the work on the Safe Routes to Schools pathway throughout the downtown Indian River area. “They are suing for damages due to delays related to some utility issues,” said Shank. “Because the road commission signed the contract with MDOT, we're responsible for those types of costs.” However, the road commission also has a contract they signed with the township for the project which makes the township responsible for all project costs. The Attorney General's office contacted the road commission to see if they needed any assistance with the presentation of their case or if they would be more comfortable with their own legal counsel. The board felt it was best to have the AG's office handle the case.